California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement requires that all non-exempt employees be given a rest period for every four hours that they work. The minimum rest period is 10 consecutive minutes for every 4 hours of work. The law also states that employees must be paid for this rest period.
What happens if a rest period is not practicable?
Wage disputes happen all the time regarding missed rest periods. In some professions, rest periods are simply not effective when it comes to maintaining a flow of operations. In these instances, the employer must pay the employee one hour pay at the regular rate for every workday that they do not have a rest period. It’s advisable to review the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders to verify whether or not your position is eligible for a rest period.
Employers are to give their employees a rest break as close to the middle of a 4-hour work shift as possible. It’s important to note that this is not always practical for some positions. If it is not, then you should be able to receive the required break at another point throughout your work period.
Do I have to remain on call?
California law requires that each employer give their employees mandatory rest breaks where they can take off duty. For this reason, it’s not acceptable for an employer to expect an employee to be on call for their rest break. Anyone who is asked to remain on call during the rest break will qualify for the additional one-hour pay at their regular rate as we went over above.
There are many employees who have a lot of questions regarding what their rights are as far as wages and rest breaks go. If you are one of them, it’s advisable to speak to an attorney who has experience with these types of matters.