California Labor Code sets forth mandatory requirements for meal and rest breaks.
During both types of breaks, employees have the right to leave the premises. These breaks must also be uninterrupted.
Most employees in California who work more than five (5) hours in a day are entitled to at least a thirty (30) minute meal break. However, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee if the employee will not work more than six (6) hours in the day. See Labor Code 512.
In addition, employees who are working more than ten (10) hours in a day must also be given a second meal break that is at least thirty (30) minutes. The employee may waive this second meal break if: (1) The employee's workday will be no longer than twelve (12) hours; and (2) The employee did not waive the first meal break. See Labor Code 512.
During the meal break, the employee must be relieved of all responsibility and be free to leave the work premises.
In California, employers must authorize and permit nonexempt employees to take a rest period that must be taken in the middle of each work period. The rest period must be counted as paid time. Employees have the right to a 10-minute paid rest break for each four (4) hours the employee works. Generally, these breaks are spaced apart rather than combined.
Contact the Law Office of Catherine Chukwueke if you were not provided your rest and meal breaks.