In California, employees are entitled to a paid ten minute rest break for each 3.5 hours, or major fraction thereof, that they work. Rest breaks must be completely free of job duties and job responsibilities. The California Supreme Court in its 2016 landmark decision Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., (2016) 2 Cal.5th 257 found that “on-call” rest breaks are still on-duty, even where the employees are never actually called to duty during the breaks
Employees who are paid on a piece-rate or commission basis are still entitled to paid rest breaks, and their employers must pay their rest break compensation separately. See Bluford v. Safeway Stores, Inc. (2013) 216 Cal.App.4th 864 and Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture, LLC (2017) 9 Cal.App.5th 98.
California Labor Code §226.7 provides that employers who do not provide a timely paid ten-minute rest break to employees must pay each employee one-hour’s premium pay for each day on which a meal break was not authorized and permitted.
Common scenarios where employers fail to authorize and permit rest breaks include:
- Employees who are required to keep their cell phones, walkie-talkie, or some other communication device powered-on during rest breaks;
- Where employees have other job responsibilities, such as a cement truck driver who must keep his or car truck in the line of vision during breaks;
- Employees are provided with off-duty rest breaks, but they are paid on a commission or piece-rate basis so that the breaks are not pa
Have you always been able to take a timely 10 minute off-duty rest break over the last four years? If not, we may be able to help, and we offer a free consultation.