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Can employers deny meal waivers?

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  • Can employers deny meal waivers?

    Originally posted by BSPCPA View Post
    The labor code does not specifically require that meal waivers be in writing. Similarly, most IWC Wage Orders do not require this either in most instances - although the Wage Orders do mandate that meal waiver be written sometimes (e.g., employees in the health care industry, employees working alone, etc).

    Bottom Line: As posted above, most labor law practitioners (including myself) advise that ALL meal waivers be in writing - not because it is required by the labor code, but because they go a long way in defending lawsuits. It is much harder (although not impossible) for an employee to prove that he was forced to work through lunch when the employer whips out a signed, employee meal waiver.
    Are employers allowed to DENY meal waivers?

  • #2
    In CA, you may not choose to waive your meal break without employer permission. The employer does not have to let you. But if they require it you cannot object. You must waive your meal break IF the nature of your job meets certain criteria. (For example, you are working alone and there are no doors to lock up and protect your store equipment and register.) Merely working alone does not count. If you can lock your doors and go take a lunch break, and secure the store, then you do NOT have to waive your meal break legally. But if you do waive it, there is no recourse for you since you waived it.

    But here's the thing. I just settled a $xx,xxx lawsuit with my former employer in California for this very issue. It all boils down to this:

    With the permission of your employer, you may waive your unpaid meal break by signing a waiver. The waiver is not necessary while you are employed, however, it is imperative if you go to court. I can compare it to copyright issues. Everything you create, you own the copyright for immediately and there is NO need to register with the copyright office. However, if you ever have your intellectual property infringed, UNLESS you have the paperwork - you will never win because it is a Federal issue and the courts will not even hear your case if you do not have that paperwork. So while the meal waiver signed paper doesn't matter immediately - in the long run, it will matter if you go to court.

    If you are an employee waiving meal breaks, sign that paper because if your employer has you waive your meal break and you work over 6 hours then they MUST pay you for 1 extra hour for EVERY SINGLE DAY you did not get an unpaid 30 minute meal break and worked 6 or more hours.

    I had 20 employees under me who had to waive their meal breaks for working 6+ hour shifts. I was the only one who filed suit.

    If you need a good meal break violation lawyer in CA let me know. I will refer you to one of the best.


    • #3
      Xenia, if you're the one I think you are, welcome.

      But to both you and rebdomine, please don't respond to long dead threads. This one is almost two years old. Thank you.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


      • #4
        Too bad patty its relevant information no matter how old it is.

        If the site wants to remove old threads great but as long as its here and there is relevant information to add to it I will and thats just something youll have to deal with.


        • #5
          Xenia, you really should have started your own new thread with your
          question since this thread is from 2008. I will start a new thread for
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.


          • #6
            And you're going to have to deal with the fact that you will get chastised for posting to long dead threads every time you do it. We don't remove old threads because people can learn from reading them, but that doesn't mean you have to add to them.

            And this site does not allow the referral of specific attorneys.
            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.


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