State Law > California > California Meal and Rest Periods Law

California Meal and Rest Periods Law

 

The following sections of the California Labor Code contain statutes which concern meal and rest periods. In addition, California has wage orders in the California Code of Regulations which concern meal and rest periods, but which are not discussed here.

California Six-Hour Meal Period Waiver Sample Form PDF.

California Second Meal Period Waver Sample PDF.

Sample California Meal and Rest Period Attestation Form PDF.

Meal Periods

  • 512. Employee is to have breaks during the day.
Rest Periods-Nursing Mothers
  • 1030. Break to accommodate an employee who needs to express milk.
  • 1032. Employer does not have to have to provide rest period if it disrupts the operations of the employer.

Meal Periods

512.

(a) An employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than five hours per day without providing the employee with a meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that if the total work period per day of the employee is no more than six hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee. An employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than 10 hours per day without providing the employee with a second meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and the employee only if the first meal period was not waived.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the Industrial Welfare Commission may adopt a working condition order permitting a meal period to commence after six hours of work if the commission determines that the order is consistent with the health and welfare of the affected employees.

(c) Subdivision (a) does not apply to an employee in the wholesale baking industry who is subject to an Industrial Welfare Commission wage order and who is covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement that provides for a 35-hour workweek consisting of five seven-hour days, payment of 1 and1/2 the regular rate of pay for time worked in excess of seven hours per day, and a rest period of not less than 10 minutes every two hours.

(d) If an employee in the motion picture industry or the broadcasting industry, as those industries are defined in Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders 11 and 12, is covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement that provides for meal periods and includes a monetary remedy if the employee does not receive a meal period required by the agreement, then the terms, conditions, and remedies of the agreement pertaining to meal periods apply in lieu of the applicable provisions pertaining to meal periods of subdivision (a) of this section, Section 226.7, and Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders 11 and 12.

Rest periods; Minimum hours off duty after working 12 hours in the aggregate

Sec. 603. No trainman who has been on duty 12 hours in the aggregate in any 24-hour period shall be required or permitted to continue or again go on duty without having had at least 8 consecutive hours off duty.

Meal Periods-Lumber industry

800. Every person operating a sawmill, shakemill, shinglemill, logging camp, planing mill, veneer mill, plywood plant or any other type of plant or mill which processes or manufactures any lumber, lumber products or allied wood products, in this State shall allow his employees a period of not less than one-half hour for the midday meal, between the third and fifth hours of each day's shift after the start thereof.

801. Any person, or agent or officer thereof who violates any provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than four hundred dollars ($400).

Accommodation required for breastfeeding mothers

Sec. 1030. Every employer, including the state and any political subdivision, shall provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee's infant child. The break time shall, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. Break time for an employee that does not run concurrently with the rest time authorized for the employee by the applicable wage order of the Industrial Welfare Commission shall be unpaid.

Sec. 1031. The employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee's work area, for the employee to express milk in private. The room or location may include the place where the employee normally works if it otherwise meets the requirements of this section.

Sec. 1032. An employer is not required to provide break time under this chapter if to do so would seriously disrupt the operations of the employer. [Sec. 1032, as enacted by Ch. 821

Sec. 1033.

(a) An employer who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) for each violation.

(b) If, upon inspection or investigation, the Labor Commissioner determines that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the Labor Commissioner may issue a citation. The procedures for issuing, contesting, and enforcing judgments for citations or civil penalties issued by the Labor Commissioner for violations of this chapter shall be the same as those set forth in Section 1197.1.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, violations of this chapter shall not be misdemeanors under this code.

Meal Periods-Municipal employees

1900. Every employee of a city whose hours of labor exceed 120 in a week is entitled to be off duty at least three hours during every twenty-four hours for the purpose of procuring meals. No deduction of salary shall be made by reason thereof.

Meal Periods-Industrial Welfare Commission Order

226.7.

(a) No employer shall require any employee to work during any meal or rest period mandated by an applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.

(b) If an employer fails to provide an employee a meal period or rest period in accordance with an applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission, the employer shall pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee's regular rate of compensation for each work day that the meal or rest period is not provided.

Meal Periods-Sheepherders

2695.2(c) No employer of sheepherders shall employ a sheepherder for a work period of more than five hours without a meal period of no less than 30 minutes, except that when a work period of not more than six hours will complete a day's work, the meal period may be waived by the mutual consent of the employer and the sheepherder. An employer may be relieved of this obligation if a meal period of 30 minutes cannot reasonably be provided because no one is available to relieve a sheepherder tending flock alone on that day. Where a meal period of 30 minutes can be provided but not without interruption, a sheepherder shall be allowed to complete the meal period during that day.

Rest Periods

Rest Periods-Industrial Welfare Commission Order 226.7

(a) No employer shall require any employee to work during any meal or rest period mandated by an applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.

(b) If an employer fails to provide an employee a meal period or rest period in accordance with an applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission, the employer shall pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee's regular rate of compensation for each work day that the meal or rest period is not provided.

Rest Periods-Nursing Mothers

1030. Every employer, including the state and any political subdivision, shall provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee's infant child. The break time shall, if possible, run concurrently with any break time already provided to the employee. Break time for an employee that does not run concurrently with the rest time authorized for the employee by the applicable wage order of the Industrial Welfare Commission shall be unpaid.

1031. The employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee's work area, for the employee to express milk in private. The room or location may include the place where the employee normally works if it otherwise meets the requirements of this section.

1032. An employer is not required to provide break time under this chapter if to do so would seriously disrupt the operations of the employer.

1033.

(a) An employer who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) for each violation.

(b) If, upon inspection or investigation, the Labor Commissioner determines that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the Labor Commissioner may issue a citation. The procedures for issuing, contesting, and enforcing judgments for citations or civil penalties issued by the Labor Commissioner for violations of this chapter shall be the same as those set forth in Section 1197.1.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, violations of this chapter shall not be misdemeanors under this code.

Rest Periods - Sheepherders

2695.2

(d) To the extent practicable, every employer shall authorize and permit all sheepherders to take rest periods. The rest period, insofar as is practicable, shall be in the middle of each work period. The authorized rest times shall be based on the total hours worked daily at the rate of 10 minutes net rest time per four hours, or major fraction thereof, of work. However, a rest period need not be authorized for sheepherders whose total daily worktime is less than three and one-half hours.

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