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Should your employer be giving you breaks during the workday?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2023 | Employment Law

It is critical for every employee to be aware of his or her rights. This knowledge is important and useful, especially in the event that someone experiences a violation of his or her employment rights. Regardless of the type of job you have, it is critical that you know what you should expect from your employer, including your pay, benefits, rightful leave and even breaks during the workday. You should be aware of the time for which you should receive pay.

While there is no federal law mandating that employers provide workers with breaks, most employers do allow workers to take the time to eat a meal. Before beginning your employment, it will be helpful to discuss what breaks you can expect, the expectations for meal times and more. Any violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act could be grounds to pursue legal action.

Breaks, meals and other aspects of your employment

Having reasonable expectations for your employment is critical, and before you even begin your job, you will need to have a conversation with your employer regarding the daily requirements he or she will expect you to meet. The breaks your employer may permit you to have and other benefits you may get could depend on the nature of your specific job. Consider the following:

  • Even though the FLSA does not require employers to pay you during your lunch break, you have the right to take a full break to eat a meal.
  • If you decide to eat as you work, you may receive pay for that time since you are technically not off the clock.
  • California law does, however, mandate that employees should get a half hour for a meal for every five hours worked.
  • In California, an employee can expect two meal breaks if he or she works 10 hours or more.

Knowing your right to regular breaks and when your employer should be paying you can help you know if you experienced a violation of your rights as an employee.

Holding responsible parties accountable

You have the right to pursue legal recourse if you experienced a violation of your rights in the workplace. If you are unsure of whether your employer is treating you unfairly or if you have grounds to move forward with legal action, you will benefit from seeking an opinion of your legal options. You do not have to remain silent if dealing with employment law concerns.