Under California(IWC Orders and Labor Code Section 512), workers must be equipped with a 30-minute meal if the working time is more than five hours (more than six hours for film industry employees covered by CBI Order 12-2001). According to Schedule 5, a California worker who works more than five hours is entitled to a 30-minute meal. In most cases, a worker should be exempt from any obligation during the meal period and not paid for the time. However, if the type of work prevents a worker from being relieved of all duties, a paid meal is allowed. The California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement also identified examples of jobs that could be considered due to the nature of workplace collaboration for in-service meals; These tasks include a single worker at a coffee kiosk, a single worker in a store all night and a security guard, alone stationed on a remote site. However, employers should bear in mind that even workers who employ these positions can be controlled by the courts and the Labour Commission and that they cannot be allowed to receive meals at the service, depending on the demand. That`s why it`s so important to consult an employment lawyer before deciding to offer or accept breaks of service. [SHRM-ONLY HR Q-A: What are the rest and meal requirements for California employees?] The court found that there were practical challenges in providing a service meal, regardless of duration, and stated that it did not agree with an acceptable meal. In February 2016, the Department of Labour Standards (DLSE) issued pay and penalty citations to the homeowner. The citations included the failure to provide 30-minute mealtimes under the California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 5, which governs the public household economy.
The most untenable and the fight against these requirements is of course the third requirement – the “nature of work” condition. To determine whether the “nature of the work” allows for a break from duty, courts and administrative authorities, such as the California Labour Commissioner, consider various “objective” factors, such as the type of work performed by the worker, whether other employees are available to lighten the burden on the worker, and whether the employer`s work product or process would be destroyed or damaged if the worker was discharged from all obligations. (Here is a recent letter of advice from the Labour Commissioner, which deals in more detail with this issue.) Professional Notice: This decision makes it clear that a meal during use does not change the requirement that it last at least 30 minutes.