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What are the rules regarding lunch breaks in California?

Many nutritionists say that lunch is the second most important meal of the day, and a lot of workers probably agree with this. Lunch, regardless of what time of day it is eaten, helps employees with performing for the rest of their working day as well as for the trip back home. Are employers here required to give their employees a lunch break? This blog post will briefly describe the rules employers must follow regarding meal periods

In the Golden State, if an employee is working for a period of five or more hours, the employee must be provided with a meal period of at least 30 minutes in duration. For employees in the motion picture industry, a 30-minute meal break must be provided if the employee works for a period of six or more hours.

Usually, employers must provide their employees with a meal period in which the employees are relieved of all duty, and the employee is free to leave the work site if they wish. Sometimes, however, the nature of the employee's work requires them not to be relieved of all duty during the meal period. In this case, the employer can instead offer an on-duty meal period where the employee is not relieved of all duty. The employee must be paid for this kind of meal period, otherwise the employee may have a claim for unpaid wages.

If an employee works a period of 10 or more hours, the employee must be offered a second 30-minute meal period. But, if the employee has worked for 12 hours or less, and they took their first meal period, the employee and employer may waive the second one.

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