Rest Breaks

Employment law in Irvine Orange County and Los Angeles

If you are an employer in California, you need to be mindful of the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders.  These orders require an employer to offer nonexempt employees rest breaks.  The rest break is based on the total hours employees work.  Each rest break must be at least ten minutes for each four-hour period of work.  So, if an employee works less than four hours, a rest period is not required.  If an employee works eight hours, then two rest breaks are required.  It is very important for employers to remember that the employer must pay for employee’s rest break.  So, the rest breaks are actually counted as part of the employee’s work hour.

California law imposes a stiff penalty on the employers who fail to comply with this law.  Specifically, California Labor Code Section 226.7 provide that those employers who fail to provide their employees with the required rest break, they have to pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular hourly rate for each workday that the rest period is not provided. 

I have been asked many times whether an employer must provide a rest area for their employees.   The answer is yes. Employers must provide resting areas (separate from toilet rooms) that their employees can use.