Is My Employer Allowed to Interrupt Me During My Lunch Break? 

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Is My Employer Allowed to Interrupt Me During My Lunch Break? 

Understanding your rights as an employee is essential to ensure fair treatment in the workplace. Many employees may wonder whether their employer is allowed to interrupt them during their lunch break. There are several important regulations in California that employees should know about. If you believe your employer violated your rights to a meal break, contact the Law Office of Jeannette A. Vaccaro to discuss your situation.

Understanding Your Rights to Breaks

California wage and hour laws require non-exempt employees to receive a thirty-minute break if they work for more than five hours a day. If you’re scheduled for more than twelve hours, you should get a second 30-minute meal break. These breaks are meant to be uninterrupted – meaning your employer should not ask you to perform any work duties during this time.

When Can an Employer Interrupt Your Break?

According to California law, employers may not require an employee to work or to be on call during a meal or rest break. If your employer asks you to work while you eat or tells you to remain on-call during your break, it is a legal equivalent of denying you your rightful break.

However, it’s worth noting that the law does not obligate the employer to ensure you do not work during your break. If you willingly choose to work during your break, the employer is not responsible for this action.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are some exceptions to these rules. For instance, “on duty” meal periods may apply in certain situations. If the nature of your work prevents you from getting relief from duties, you may have to work through your meal break.

In such cases, the law requires employees to get compensation for such periods. An on-duty meal period is only allowable if the nature of work does not allow an employee to take a break. Since certain exceptions may be complicated, it’s important to seek guidance from a knowledgeable attorney.

What Happens When Your Employer Denies You Breaks?

If your employer denies you a meal or rest break, you have a right to take legal action. In California, an employer must compensate the employee with one hour’s pay for each break they deny. This means if your employer denies you lunch or rest breaks for an entire employment year, you are entitled to adequate compensation.

Contact an Oakland Employment Attorney to Discuss Your Case

It’s crucial to understand that your employer should not interrupt your lunch break. If this is happening, it may be considered a wage and hour violation under California law. If you believe your rights have been violated, do not hesitate to seek legal help.

At the Law Office of Jeannette A. Vaccaro, we are committed to helping employees regain their wages from former or current employers who violate wage and hour laws. If you’re facing issues with your meal or rest breaks, call to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.

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Jeannette is passionate about employee rights. She fights to shed light on injustices and to help her clients move beyond troubling times. Contact Jeannette today for a free case evaluation.

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