Are You Compliant with Required Meal and Rest Breaks?

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Under California law, non-exempt (hourly) employees are required a 30-minute uninterrupted meal break when working 5-10 hours. A second 30-minute break is required for a non-exempt employee working 10-15 hours.  The following requirements must be followed:

Meal Break Law Requirements:

  •       If you have an employee that is working a 6-hour shift, they are entitled to a 30-minute meal break but the employee and employer can agree to waive the meal period. 
  •       Since this meal period is off-the-clock, the employee is allowed to leave the premises and use the meal break as they wish to.
  •       Meal and rest breaks can NOT be combined to create one long break.

California has strict laws on rest breaks as well, 1 break for 3.5-6 hours of work and 2 breaks for 6-10 hours of work.

 Rest Break Law Requirements:

  •       Must be a consecutive 10 minutes uninterrupted
  •       These rest breaks must be paid
  •       Employees do NOT have to remain on the premises during the break

The charts below will provide you with a complete list of shifts and the number of required breaks they should be provided.

Hours on the Clock

Rest Breaks

0 – 3:29 hrs


3:30 – 6 hrs


6:01 – 10 hrs


10:01 – 14 hrs


14:01 – 18 hrs


18:01 – 22 hrs


Hours on the Clock

Meal Breaks

0 – 5 hrs


5:01 – 10 hrs


10:01 – 15 hrs


15:01 – 20 hrs


20:01 +


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