Disputes Over Meal And Rest Breaks And Overtime

Have your rights to meal breaks, rest breaks and/or overtime wages in the workplace been violated in Southern California?

The experienced Beverly Hills employment law attorney to come to with issues related to lunch breaks, rest breaks, and unpaid overtime, as well as other wage and hour concerns, is Louis Benowitz, founder of the Law Offices of Louis Benowitz — serving clients in Greater Los Angeles and surrounding areas since 2009.

As your lawyer, Louis Benowitz will protect your rights from your free initial consultation forward, throughout the legal process. He excels at negotiating with employers and litigating against them if necessary to ensure that your interests are safeguarded, and that you receive the recovery you deserve.

The Law Offices of Louis Benowitz employment law firm has recovered millions of dollars for employees locally and across the state through individual and class action lawsuits.

Law Offices Of Louis Benowitz Handles Disputes Over Meal And Rest Breaks And Overtime In Los Angeles And Southern California

Meal Breaks

In California, a non-exempt employee who works more than five hours is generally entitled to a 30-minute meal break after no more than five hours of work. An employee who works more than 10 hours is generally entitled to a second 30-minute meal break after no more than ten hours of work.

In most instances, providing a meal break requires the employer to completely relieve the employee of duty, allow him or her to do as he or she pleases, and allow him or her to go where he or she pleases for at least thirty uninterrupted minutes. While an employee may choose to skip a timely meal break, the employer still must provide the employee with a reasonable opportunity to take one and keep a record of having done so.

An employer who fails to provide a non-exempt employee with any meal break, or who fails to provide a timely meal break, must pay the employee an additional hour of premium wages on each workday that the meal break is not provided.

Moreover , when employers misclassify their employees as exempt from overtime and double time pay requirements of California law, they often violate the rights of their employees under the meal break laws as well.

Therefore, you should take advantage of a free consultation from the firm because you may be entitled to premium pay for meal period violations without even realizing it!

Rest Breaks

In California, employers generally must authorize and permit their employees to take paid 10-minute rest breaks as follows based on shift length:

Shift Length

Number of Rest Breaks

0.00 to 3.49 hours

None

3.50 to 5.99 hours

One

6.00 to 9.99 hours

Two

10.00 to 13.99 hours

Three

14.00 to 17.99 hours

Four

18.00 hours to 23.99 hours

Five

If the employer fails to provide a legally required rest break for the employee, he or she is entitled to an additional hour of premium wages on each workday that the rest break is not provided.

Importantly, if you have been paid on a commission, piece rate, or other sort of production-based non-hourly basis, you could still be entitled to premium wages even if your employer allowed you to take rest breaks. This is because many production-based pay arrangements do not allow employees to be paid for their "non-productive" time such as rest breaks.

Notably, when employers misclassify their employees as exempt from overtime and double time pay requirements of California law, they often violate the rights of their employees under the rest break laws as well.

In sum, you should take advantage of a free consultation from the firm because you may be entitled to premium pay for failures to provide rest periods without even realizing it.

Overtime

Subject to limited exceptions, employers must pay overtime wages at no less than one-and-a-half times the employee's regular rate of pay when the employee works more than eight hours in a workday, more than 40 hours in a workweek and all seven workdays in a workweek.

Employers must also pay double time wages at no less than twice the employee's regular rate of pay when the employee works more than 12 hours in a workday or more than eight hours on the seventh consecutive workday in a workweek.

Many employers misclassify their employees as exempt from overtime and double time pay requirements even though they are legally entitled to overtime and double time pay. Moreover, before July 1, 2014, any California employee who makes a weekly salary of less than $640.00 per week (i.e., less than $2,733.33 per month or $33,280.00 per year) is necessarily entitled to overtime pay regardless of job duties. After July 1, 2014, any California employee who makes a weekly salary of less than $720.00 per week (i.e., less than $3,120.00 per month or $37,440.00 per year) will be entitled to overtime pay regardless of job duties.

Further, even if your employer has been paying you some overtime wages, you still might be entitled to more overtime pay. For example, if you receive compensation in addition to hourly wages (e.g., commissions, performance bonuses, language differentials, night shift premiums), your employer may be required to include those amounts when calculating your regular rate of pay for overtime purposes. Thus, even if your employer has paid you some overtime, you should contact the firm for a free consultation because you still could have been underpaid.

The bottom line is that employees who have worked long hours (whether by choice or by force) should take advantage of a free consultation from the firm because they may be entitled to overtime pay (or more overtime pay) without even realizing it.

Contact the Law Offices of Louis Benowitz to schedule your free consultation. Call toll free to 800-533-2392 or send an email message. Our law firm's contingency fee policy means that you owe no attorney fee unless Mr. Benowitz wins your case.