California Meal Break & Rest Break Laws For 2022

Updated: Mar 28

Learn about your employee's rights in California


If you are a non-exempt California employee, you are entitled to a 30-minute continuous, duty-free meal break if you work more than 5 hours on a working day under the California meal break legislation (which is much more generous to workers than federal labor law).


If your employer is in violation of any California labor laws, you may have a legitimate case. Have your claim reviewed by an employment lawyer FREE of charge 24 hours a day. You'll get an answer within 15 minutes.


So, let's talk about Meal and Rest Break Laws, as they are often handled by an Employment Attorney in Los Angeles.


california meal break law chart

For every 4 hours you work (or "main part" of it), you are also entitled to 10 minutes of uninterrupted, duty-free rest breaks. If your employer does follow the provisions of break rule, they are supposed to pay you an extra hour of regular salary pay for each day on which a violation of meal break occurred, and another additional hour of regular pay for each day on which a violation of rest break occurred.


Requirements for California Rest Break

  • Your employer must grant you an uninterrupted rest break for at least ten consecutive minutes.

  • There must be paid rest breaks.

  • You must take one rest break if you work at least 3.5 hours a day.

  • You must take a second rest break if you work for 6 hours.

  • You must take a third rest break if you work for 10 hours.

  • To the degree practicable, rest breaks must be in the middle of and work time. If you are scheduled to work an 8-hour shift or more, both before and after your meal break, you can have a separate rest break.

  • During your rest breaks, your employer should not expect you to stay on work premises.

  • During any needed rest breaks, you shouldn't be expected to perform any work duties—[The Cal. Lab. 226.7]. However, if your employer is not promoting or pressuring you to, you are free to miss your rest breaks.


Chart of California Rest Break Rule

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