Is it legal for my employer to make me take a break as soon as I clock in for work?

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Is it legal for my employer to make me take a break as soon as I clock in for work?

I work at a private preschool in
California and as soon as I clock in for
work, I have to take my break to get it
out of the way. The problem is there is
a big time gap between my break and
my lunch break so I get very hungry
and start to feel sick. Isn’t a break
suppose to be taken after two hours of
work?

Asked on March 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In CA, most workers have the right to a paid 10 minute rest break for every 4 hours worked (or fraction thereof). And the breaks should be in the middle of the work period, as much as possible but they can be staggered. However, clocking in and then immediately being made to take a break would appear to be in vioation of the law. At this point, you should contact the CA Department of Industrial Relations and/or consult with an employment law attorney in your area.


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