What is the liability under California law for failing to provide a rest period?
Q: If our company pays an employee for their 10-minute rest period, but the employee reports that he didn’t actually take a break from work, are we complying with California wage and hour laws?
A: No, paying for a missed rest period is not enough. If an employee misses a rest period he or she is entitled to one hour of additional pay at their regular rate, payable in the next paycheck. If an employee is not paid this hour of pay by the next paycheck, then penalties may be assessed. These penalties can add up quickly because employees have up to 3 years to claim unpaid wages based on missed rest periods. If employees are intentionally missing or working through their rest periods, an employer should counsel employees and discipline as appropriate. To learn more about California’s rest period laws, review our Legal Guide “Break and Meal Periods - California”.