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Are employees required to take breaks and be paid overtime in California?

Date : 1/9/2017  
Name :  Admin 
State :  CA 
URL :   
Category :  Employment Law 
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Are employees required to take breaks and be paid overtime in California?

California's economy has been struggling for some time. This has led to stagnating salaries, reduced work hours and few job opportunities. Employers on their part are also looking for measures to cut on their bottom man and save more cash. They are forcing an employee to take pay cuts or take days of unpaid furlough time.

These measures are acceptable as per California break laws. However, there are times that the employers hurt the employees by robbing them of their rightful remuneration. Unfortunately, many workers do not know their rights.

employee lunch break laws in California

Overtime pay

Overtime pay is familiar with those that are paid hourly. For any extra hour, that one works over eight hours a day or above 40 hours a week, he or she entitled to one and a half times the hourly pay. However, some employers force workers force workers to sign incorrect cards or deny workers their overtime pay. Such employees are entitled to full wages owed plus court and attorney fees.

The other area where overtime pay is denied is when employers misclassify exempt and non-exempt workers. Certain white color employees in the executive, professional, administrative, and outside sales are not entitled to overtime. However, some employers misclassify their employees in these groups denying them overtime pay.

Mandatory male breaks

The exempt and non-exempt employees are served differently in line with meal breaks. For non-exempt employees, there must be a 30-minute meal break during the shift if it extends for more than five hours. If the shift is ten hours, these breaks must be at least two. Hourly employees clock off during the meal times. The employees have a right to forgo the meal times for shifts less than six hours.

Penalties for denied meal breaks

Every day that the employer fails to give a meal break, he should pay an hour worth of regular pay to the employee. If the break is not duty-free, the employer must reimburse the employee. This also applies where the employee is required to remain on site during the break. The exception is in cases where the job requirement makes it hard to be relieved of the duties. This agreement for such must be in writing.

Mandatory rest breaks

Non-exempt employees are entitled to a ten-minute break after four hours of work. Employees can waive the breaks and should not be coerced to do so. Each day that the breaks are denied, the employee is entitled to an hour's pay. The breaks are part of the working hours, and thus, employees should remain on the premises.



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