Banking and Rest: Too Busy to Take a Break?

If you’ve ever worked at a bank branch, you will likely have experienced the consistent stream of customers entering the facility.  While tellers stick to processing transactions like deposits and withdrawals, personal bankers work at their desks, fielding all other types of inquiries.  These bankers perform duties such as helping customers open new accounts, access older accounts, or adding or removing users to specific accounts.  While tellers often get rest and meal breaks, personal bankers typically remain on call to handle urgent matters.

While this type of responsiveness is great from both the customer and the corporate side, the employee is the one who has his or her rights violated. Every employer in California – banks included — is legally obligated to provide all non-exempt employees with two ten-minute rest breaks for every eight hours of work. Employers are not only obligated to provide these two ten-minute breaks, but they are required to pay their employees their normal wages during these rest periods as well.

Rest break violations are serious business:

Case Study: Your employer doesn’t provide you with the breaks you are entitled to.  By law, they must pay you an hour’s worth of compensation for every day on which you were not provided with a rest break. So, let’s say your employer didn’t let you take any of your rest periods for a whole week. If you work five days per week, that is five violations, which would be equivalent to 5 hours.

Penalties like those could add up quickly and severely hurt a business that fails to adhere to the law on a regular basis.

In addition to these rest break violations, you may be experiencing some of the following:

  • Missed meal periods, and late meal periods (after the 5th hour).
  • Working off the clock, including taking phone calls after work or on weekends, working from home, or checking your phone for work-related emails and texts.

The Carter Law Firm, a Newport Beach employment law firm, specializes in protecting the rights of people that are victims of these kinds of violations.   In recent weeks, we have heard the news about break violations happening at banks like Bank of the West, U.S. Bank, Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.

If you work at a bank, and you are a personal banker or other types of a support staff member – or even a teller — and feel like the bank is forcing you not to take your breaks, we can help. Just fill out this contact form below, and we will reach out to you as soon as possible.