Meal and Rest Break Lawsuits and Cases
Regarding meal and rest break cases and lawsuits, California law requires employers to give their employees paid 10 minute rest breaks for any shift in which they are working around 4 hours or more in a single workday. California law also requires employers to give their employees an unpaid 30 minute meal break for any shift in which they are working around 6 hours or more in a single workday. These laws are the basis for many of the meal and rest break lawsuits.
If a reasonable opportunity for either of such breaks is not permitted or available to the employee, the employer must compensate the worker one hour of pay at the regular base hourly rate, for each such break not permitted. However, only one of each type of unpermitted break is recoverable (for instance, if an employee works an 8 hour shift and is not provided either a meal break or a rest break, he or she is entitled to one hour of pay for the unpermitted meal break and one hour of pay for the unpermitted rest break; but even though two rest breaks were required for the 8 hour shift the employee is entitled to only one hour of pay for the missed rest break).
However, many employers are understaffed and require their workers to answer phones or tend to a cash register, or do some other work that pops up during their meal or rest breaks, after which they resume their 10-minute rest break or 30 minute meal break. This does not satisfy the law. The breaks must be UNINTERRUPTED for them to be valid. If the meal or rest breaks are interrupted by work, then they are the same as no breaks at all.
Other challenges in meal and rest break cases include whether the employer even has a policy on meal and rest breaks. Without any such policy, and preferably one that is distributed in writing to employees (and better yet, policies which are signed and acknowledged by the employees), there is a legal presumption that breaks were NOT given. But this area of law is a bit more complicated because an employer is not required to INSURE that employees take breaks, if they have actual break policies and there are opportunities for the employee to take the breaks but he or she does not do so. On the other hand, just because an employer has a break policy does not mean that the employer is not liable for breaks which are not taken, especially where the employer is aware that the employees are working through breaks because the workload is too heavy to accommodate breaks.
This is why employees need experienced lawyers like the Law Offices of Kenneth W. Ralidis, to both assess their lost wages and to competently seek recovery of those lost wages. Meal break and rest break lawsuits and cases can get complicated, but we have the experience you need on your side.
If you have a case and possible lawsuit similar to these, contact Ken Ralidis at 213.251.5480 today to see how he can help you get the compensation you deserve. We have often obtained results for our clients that are 10-25 times what the initial offer was. Don’t just settle for any attorney that may not have the experience, or a big law firm that doesn’t have the time or resources for a case like yours. Reach out to Ken Ralidis for his experience and the personal attention he offers. We can help you win your case!