The days of nonchalant schedules are a thing of the past. Although these employment laws are implemented to protect employees, it does cause quite the planning and calculated configuration for employers all over the United States. For most businesses, having a “rush” or “busy” time, and losing track of hours worked & lunch breaks, is very common and could put your business at risk. Please review the below Meal Premium rules below to make sure you have your staff scheduled accordingly!
Important Points to Note:
- For a shift between 5 and 6 hours, the employee must start their lunch before they have worked 5 hours, but they can waive their right to a lunch.
- For a shift between 6 and 10 hours, the employee must start their lunch before they have worked 5 hours and they cannot waive their right to a lunch
- For a shift between 10 and 12 hours, the employee must start their second lunch before they have worked 10 hours, but they can waive their right to a second lunch if they did not waive their first lunch.
- For a shift more than 12 hours, the employee must start their second lunch before they have worked 10 hours and they cannot waive their right to a second lunch
Meal Break Obligations in California – You cannot employ someone for a work period of more than five hours without providing an unpaid, off-duty meal period of 30 minutes (provided no later than the end of the employee’s fifth hour of work).
If the employee wishes to “waive” a meal, they may do so, if they follow the strict guidelines that qualifies it. First, if an employee’s shift is 6 hours or less, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee. Likewise, if an employee’s shift is 12 hours or less, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent, only if the first meal was not waived. If the employee works one minute more than the 6 hour, or 12 hour shifts, meal waivers are prohibited. It is recommended to have the employees sign a physical meal waiver form which each meal the employee wishes to waive.
Please reach out to Innovative at IBSsupport@ibspayroll.com to discuss how our WebTime software can help track & automate missed meals breaks!
https://www.dir.ca.gov/t8/11040.html (Section 11)
Disclaimer: These materials are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal or tax advice. Readers of the IBS Blog should contact their legal or tax professionals to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances.