Can my employer terminate my employment for not taking meal break before the 5th hour worked?

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Can my employer terminate my employment for not taking meal break before the 5th hour worked?

Can my employer terminate my employment for not taking lunch before the 5th hour worked?California dept of labor says if I have worked 5 or more hours, I’m entitled to a 30 minute meal break, they do not specify when I am required to take it. Now granted, I have been 10 minutes past this said deadline. I’m not abusing it and taking lunch at the last working hour of the day.

Asked on October 24, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have a written contract (including a union or collective bargaining agreement) which limits the reasons you can be terminated--and this is not one of them--then yes, you can be terminated for this reason. Except if and only to the extent limited by a written contract, employment is "employment at will": that means you can be terminated at any time, for any reason, including not taking lunch when your employer wants you to.


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