You have the right to take a break

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Full-time working hours are often long and exhausting. They demand your attention for at least 8 hours and even 12, depending on the work activity you perform. That is why breaks, both for lunch and to rest, are essential so that we can continue to be efficient when carrying out our work. But what happens when the employer denies this much-deserved break to his or her employee? Is that even legal?

Under California state law, nonexempt employees have the right to one unpaid lunch break of up to 30 minutes and two paid 10-minute breaks in their eight-hour workday.

If the employee works 10 hours a day, he or she has the right to access a second lunch break of at least 30 minutes that must start before the end of his or her working day. All employees must have their lunch break before the end of their fifth hour of work, and they must take a break every four hours worked. California law also grants 10 minutes of rest to all employees who work more than three and a half hours and, these breaks must count as part of the work hours; therefore, they must be paid.

Many employees do not know about their labor rights, much less understand their time to rest during their work hours. This exclusively benefits employers, who abuse their workers’ ignorance of working times to make them work overtime. We know how difficult it can be to confront your boss to enforce your rights, but we also know how exhausting a workday can be without the corresponding breaks.

If, by claiming your rights, your employer denies these allegations or again denies you the opportunity to have adequate rest during your working hours, please do not hesitate to contact us. At Lipeles Law Group, we work hard to make sure workers are not harmed by not knowing the corresponding labor laws.

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