In California is there anything that says that you cannot allow in an 8hr shift the 1st rest break and lunch period to be joined?
The DLSE or Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has consistently upheld that giving a longer lunch break does not compensate for denying the employee rest breaks.
California law requires that the employee be given a 10-minute rest break, free of all work duties, at approximately the mid-point of each 4 hour work segment or major portion thereof. Example: Sara works from 8 am to 4:30 pm, with a 30-minute lunch at 12 noon. Sara is entitled to a 10 minute rest break at about 10 am and again at about 2:30 pm.
Giving an employee a longer lunch break is legal, but it does not fulfill the legal requirement for the rest breaks. Example: Todd works the same hours as Sara. Todd takes a 40-minute lunch break at 12 noon and a 10 minute rest break at 2:30. Todd is working from 4 hours from 8 am to 12 noon without a rest break. Todds employer is in violation of the law, even if this is Todds preferred break schedule.
The penalties for an employer who allows workers to miss a break are severe. In California, any employee who misses one or more rest or meal breaks is entitled to an additional hours pay. In the example above, Todd would be entitled to an additional hour of pay, because he has been deprived of his rest breaks.
California law permits an employee to voluntarily waive the meal breaks in writing, but not the rest breaks.
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