Practice Area: Employment Law & Unpaid Wages
Case Status: Under Investigation
Berger Montague is investigating potential class action lawsuits on behalf of California workers who were not given proper meal and rest breaks.
California work break laws
Under California law, non-exempt workers are entitled to meal and rest breaks. However, this does not include farm workers, domestic workers, or personal attendants.
Meal break laws:
- 5+ Hours = 1, 30 Minute Break: If you work for five hours or more per day, you are entitled to a thirty-minute meal break. The meal break can be waived if you work no more than six hours per day and you and your employer both consent to it.
- 10+ Hours = 2, 30 Minute Breaks: If you work for ten hours or more per day, you are entitled to a second thirty-minute meal break. The meal break can be waived if you work no more than twelve hours per day, you and your employer both consent to it, and you did not waive your first meal break.
- You must be paid for your meal breaks unless you are relieved of all duties during your break.
- You must be paid for your meal breaks if you are required to remain at your work site or facility during your break.
Rest break laws:
- You are entitled to a ten-minute break for every four hours you work.
- A rest break is counted as time worked, therefore you must be paid for your rest breaks.
Am I required to take a break? No.
While deciding a case about meal and rest breaks in 2012, the California Supreme Court found that employers are not required to police employees to ensure they don’t work during a break. As long as employers offer employees one or two thirty-minute breaks (depending on how many hours they work) and allow employees to leave the worksite, the employer has met their meal break obligation.
Previous California work break settlements
Numerous California work break class action lawsuits have settled over the past several years:
- Starbucks: In May 2013, Starbucks Corp. agreed to pay $3 million to resolve a class action filed by workers in California alleging the company denied them required meal breaks.
- FedEx: In August 2014, FedEx Corp. agreed to pay $2.1 million to settle a proposed class action filed by a group of current and former package handlers who alleged the company failed to provide proper meal and rest breaks.
- AlliedBarton: In December 2015, AlliedBarton Securities Services LP agreed to pay $11 million to settle claims that the company violated various California state laws by failing to provide their security officers with meal and rest breaks.
If you are a California worker and do not receive proper meal and rest breaks, contact Berger Montague. You may be able to file a class action lawsuit.
Do I have to pay to consult with an attorney?
We are happy to talk with you about your potential claims free of charge. If we decide to represent you in a lawsuit, we will enter into a written contingent fee agreement with you. A contingent fee agreement means we only get paid if we win, and that we will receive our fees from the amount paid by the Defendant in the case.
Please contact us to discuss the details of your case. You may: