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Clarification of "hours worked" for break purposes in California

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  • Clarification of "hours worked" for break purposes in California

    Our corporate employee handbook has a chart that shows very clearly if "hours worked" are "more than six hours, and up to, but no more than ten hours," you get "two paid 15-minute breaks" and "one unpaid 30-minute break." Our local store frequently schedules us for 6.5 hours and only gives us one 15-minute break and the 30-minute break. When I showed the store manager the employee handbook and asked why we didn't get a second 15-minute break, he explained that "hours worked" means time actually working. That is to say, you take the 6.5 hours, subtract the 15-minute break and the 30-minute break, and you've only worked 5.75 hours, thus you don't get the second 15-minute break.

    Can anyone tell me if that's the correct interpretation?

  • #2
    Yup. "Hours worked" does not mean "hours scheduled" it means the number of hours you actually work. Unless you are actually working during your breaks, then your break times don't count as work time.

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    • #3
      Thanks, though actually, I found out that "hours worked" refers to paid work time, so while the lunch break doesn't count, the paid breaks do. So a shift that's 6.5 hours long and which includes a meal break does indeed get only one paid rest break. However, if it goes any amount over 6.5 hours, it does include a second paid rest break.

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