Hourly Employees Who Work from Home Likely Owed Break Penalties

Hourly Employees Who Work from Home Likely Owed Break Penalties

California law mandates that employees working more than five hours receive a 30-minute, uninterrupted meal period within the first 5 hours of work. It also mandates that employers give employees a 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked. With COVID-19, many employers are operating under the mistaken assumption that these rules somehow no longer apply. That is incorrect. Breaks must still be provided when employees are working from home.

Many employees are working at home during these uncertain times. Often, workers are tethered to their desks like never before, dealing with never-ending Zoom meetings and conference calls. Unlike in workplace situations, there is no break room or supervisor advising employee when it’s time for lunch. This is where employers often get it wrong, operating under the mistaken assumption that their employees are no longer entitled to breaks since they aren’t physically at the usual workplace.

Often an employee’s written schedule as dictated by the employer is all that is needed to show clear meal and rest break violations. Many calls and tasks are stacked one after another with no break in site. Thus, these missed break cases are often easy to win.

Employers must also keep and provide a record that employees have been given their legally mandated lunch breaks. Many employers fail to record these lunch breaks since their employees are working from home. Such a situation may present another easy case to win, not only for the missed meal, but also for the record-keeping error.

The Carter Law Firm can help you recover for your missed meal and rest breaks while working from home due to COVID-19. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you do.

If you have are working from home and not getting any meal or rest breaks, or if your employer is not recording your lunch breaks, contact us online or call for a free consultation.