Meal & Lunch Break Attorney

Lunch Break Lawyer – Employees who work more than 5 hours in a day are entitled to a uninterrupted meal period of at least 30 minutes; and a second meal period of at least 30 minutes if they work more than 10 hours in a day. An employers obligation is to relieve its employee of all duty, with the employee thereafter at liberty to use the meal period for whatever purpose he or she desires. The 30 minute lunch break itself does not count as part of the hours worked if the employee is allowed to leave the premises and is relieved of all duty during that period.

Lunch Break Attorney in California

An employer may not discourage or impede meal periods. If the employer has the employee do work during his or her lunch break, the employee must be paid for it.

An employer who fails to provide meal or rest periods as required by an applicable Wage Order must pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each work day that the meal or rest period was not provided. If the employer relinquishes control and the employee decides to keep working with the employers knowledge, then the employer must still pay the employees hourly rate, but not an additional premium.

Why do I need a lawyer for my lunch breaks?

The best way to explain this is by example:

If you make $30/hr and your boss won’t let you take a uninterrupted 30 minute meal break your boss is supposed to compensate you with one hour of premium pay ($30) on top of the hours you worked that day.

Now most people wouldn’t sue their boss for $30. However, you might want to sue your boss if your boss consistently violates the rule. That $30 penalty applies per day per meal period. And if you add them all up, that could be a lot of money. If you’ve been denied a meal break every day for the past three years you could be owed $22,500.

If you add that to a few other wage and hour violations, such as rest break violations, unpaid overtime, or record keeping violations, that number could hit $100,000 with ease. That might motivate you to contact us.


While our office is located in Orange County, we serve clients throughout California.