Coyle Browne Law

San Diego Unpaid Meal Break Attorney

San Diego Unpaid Meal Break Attorney

With ever-changing employment laws and a challenging work environment, it is essential for employees to know their rights regarding meal breaks. Fortunately, there are legal professionals available to help you. If you think your meal break laws are being violated, let us help you. Contact Browne Employment Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with an unpaid meal break lawyer in San Diego. 

Why Hire Browne Employment Lawyers For Your Unpaid Meal Break Case?

There are many reasons why choosing Browne Employment Lawyers is the right choice. Here are a few of them:

  • We come with a wealth of legal expertise, accumulated over the span of more than ten years practicing law. 
  • When you meet with us, you’re entitled to an initial consultation absolutely free, allowing you the chance to understand our approach without any financial commitment.
  • We work on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless you get paid. 
  • Our proven track record is evident in having successfully recovered millions of dollars for past clients.

Let us help you get what you’re entitled to. Contact Browne Employment Lawyers to schedule a free consultation. 

How a Lawyer Can Help With an Unpaid Meal Break Claim

A San Diego employment lawyer can be an invaluable asset when you’re dealing with an unpaid meal break claim.  Here’s how they can assist with your case:

Understanding Legal Rights: They bring to table their expertise understanding nuanced labor laws and employment rights and can determine if your rights were violated. They will help you determine if you have a claim and what your chances of success are. 

Building Your Case: A unpaid meal break lawyer will gather essential evidence to substantiate your unpaid meal break claim. This can include pay stubs, witness statements, and correspondence between you and your employer. 

Negotiating effectively: Thanks to their experience, our San Diego unpaid meal break lawyers know how to successfully negotiate settlements with employers and their insurance companies. This is done in the hopes that you can avoid taking your claim to court, which can be time-consuming and stressful.

Court Representation: If the need arises, your unpaid meal break lawyer will provide representation during all court proceedings.

If you need help with an unpaid meal break claim, we’re here for you. Contact Browne Employment Lawyers to schedule a free consultation. 

Who Is Entitled To Meal and Rest Breaks in California?

California’s meal and rest break laws protect most of its workforce. However, they do not apply to all employees, as some workers are considered exempt. Exempt workers are those who are free from overtime and rest provisions while non-exempt workers are entitled to mandatory breaks per labor laws in California.

There are a number of exemptions, but the most common include executives, administrative workers, and professional workers. If you have questions about whether you are exempt, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. 

California Rest and Meal Break Laws

California’s employment law has clear stipulations for ensuring break time for non-exempt employees. For each five-hour work stretch, the law mandates an unpaid meal break of 30 minutes. This rest period must be uninterrupted and free from any work duties – including a requirement to remain within workplace premises or attend to any professional phone calls/emails during that time. 

An additional 30-minute meal break becomes an option if your working hours cross the ten-hour mark in a single day. If you haven’t skipped your first meal break and you will work for less than 12 hours in the day, you aren’t required to take the second break. 

Additionally, employees are mandated to receive a paid rest break of at least 10 minutes for any stretch of work encompassing more than 3.5 hours. This period should be free from all professional obligations providing legitimate break time during which employees have the freedom to leave the workplace.

Employers cannot require staff members to merge their meal and rest breaks together. Therefore, for an 8-hour workday, an employee should get a 30 minute meal break and a 2 10-minute rest breaks.

What You Should Do If Your Meal Breaks Have Been Violated

If you believe your meal break rights have been violated, taking the following steps can help protect your rights and improve your working conditions:

  1. Keep detailed records: Record the dates, times, and circumstances of each meal break violation, including any relevant communications with your employer or supervisor. 
  2. Review your employee handbook or company policies: Check if your employer has a specific policy regarding meal breaks that is consistent with California law. 
  3. Speak with your employer: Discuss your concerns with your supervisor or human resources department, if available, and try to resolve the issue amicably. 
  4. Consult with a qualified attorney: If your employer fails to address your concerns or retaliates against you for raising the issue, seek legal advice from an experienced San Diego unpaid meal break attorney.

Evidence Used in a Meal Break Violation Claim

Winning a meal break violation case depends on the availability and quality of evidence you can provide. Common important pieces of evidence include the following:

Time Sheets: This will provide evidence of the duration and timing of your work shifts, showing whether you are entitled to breaks.

Emails/Text Messages: Written communication with your employer wherein you asked for a break but were denied can serve as strong evidence.

Work Schedules/Rosters: These may demonstrate unreasonable staffing patterns which don’t permit adequate breaks to be taken because there’s no coverage.

Witness Testimony: Co-workers willing to testify on your behalf regarding similar experiences could substantiate your assertions, showing a pattern of violations.

Company Policies: Internal policies explicitly outlining denial/non-adherence towards mandated rest and meal break guidelines may provide powerful evidence.

An attorney can help you obtain necessary evidence and present your case in a way that gives you the best chance at success. 

Contact Browne Employment Lawyers To Schedule a Free Consultation 

As an employee in California, you have legal rights to meal breaks during your working hours. A San Diego unpaid meal break attorney can help protect those rights and seek compensation if your employer has violated them. By taking action, you can ensure you get what you’re legally entitled to. For help, contact Browne Employment Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a San Diego unpaid meal break attorney.

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