What can I do if I’m not being given my legal breaks at work?

I manage a salon full-time working from open to close 5 days out of the week. I don’t get rest breaks or even a real lunch break. They consider it being a “lunch” but it is never for 30 minutes and it’s always interrupted. I get zero benefits; no sick days off. I’m on a salary, so whenever I take a day off I have to make it up to my employer by working on my days off. I feel like I am being treated unfairly and poorly.

Asked on November 2, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Under CA law, employees must be provided with no less than a 30 minute meal period when the work period is more than 5 hours. Further, unless the employee is relieved of all duty during the entire 30 minute meal period and is free to leave the workplace premises, the period shall be considered "on duty" and counted as hours actually worked, and thus are to be paid for at the employee's regular rate of pay.
Additionally, CA also requires employers to allow employees to take a paid 10 minute rest break for every 4 hours worked. If possible, these breaks must be provided in the middle of the work period. However, breaks are not required for employees who total work time is less than 3 1/2 hours per day.
Here are 2 links that will give you more detailed information:
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_mealperiods.htm
http://www.calchamber.com/california-employment-law/pages/meal-and-rest-breaks.aspx


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