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Meal and rest breaks California

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  • Meal and rest breaks California

    Myself and my co-workers are discussing our current working conditions and need some input.

    We work for a unionized company. Our union is not helpful in protecting our rights. But thats another matter. Our CBA does state that the company is required to provide us with a uninterupted meal breaks.
    Reality is:

    Some of us work 10+ hours with only 10-15 minute rest periods, no meal periods offered. Our employer tells us if we did not fill out a missed meal form (which they do not make available) within 24 hours, we have waived our right to missed meal break pay.

    Some of us work part of our shifts in the morning and part in the evening. An example would be 2 hours in the morning and 5.5 hours in the evening. Or 5 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. Typically we are only offered a 10 minute break in the 5 hour segment.

    My understanding is that if we work more than 5 hours, the company must provide a 30 minute uninterupted meal period unless we waive this or pay us for a missed meal period. I also understand that we should be given at least 2 10 minute rest breaks with a schedule such as the one listed above.

    Additionally, if we end up working later (due to the nature of the job), many of us end up with out the opportunity to take a 10 minute break if our 3 hour portion of our shift turns into 4.

    What course of action do we have? We have raised this issue with the union but haven't gotten anywhere. Our employer makes it very clear we are all expendable, and many of us have seen the people who fight for what is required by law get targeted by management.

    Additionally, previously they did provide more unpaid breaks but during those we were still responsible for our equipment and were unable to leave the area. As a result, our union fought to end these unpaid breaks and the company responded by implementing the current schedules.

  • #2
    Your recourse is to contact the state DLSE.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.