GIVE ME A BREAK: PRACTICAL STEPS TO MONITOR WORKPLACE MEAL PERIODS « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles

GIVE ME A BREAK: PRACTICAL STEPS TO MONITOR WORKPLACE MEAL PERIODS

Until California courts fully resolve the issue of what an employer must do to “provide” meal periods, employers must remain diligent to take all reasonable measures for ensuring hourly, not-exempt-from-overtime employees actually take timely meal periods.  These steps could include:

●  Conduct a thorough audit of the company’s meal and rest period policies and practices to make sure they reflect a close agreement with the applicable law, preferably with assistance of a California lawyer experienced in wage and hour law;

●  Ensure all non-exempt employees read and acknowledge in writing their understanding of the company’s meal and rest period rights policy and the underlying laws;

●  Determine if any exception applies for mandatory unpaid meal periods.  Consult with a lawyer experienced in wage and hour law on whether the nature of an employee’s work permits a written agreement for a paid “on-duty” meal period.  Ensure that any such written agreement for an “on duty” meal period specifies the nature of the work justifying the exception and confirmation the employee may, in writing, revoke the agreement at any time;

●  Have supervisors and managers conduct (and document) regular monitoring to ensure  employees under them are taking their meal periods and entering their unpaid meal period start and end times on time cards or sheets;

●  In the event a manager finds a worker not taking the required meal period, policy and practice should direct that manager’s correction of the matter as well as documented agreement by the worker to take those periods in the future; and

●  Ensure proper recordkeeping is in place and maintained (i.e. time cards showing meal period start and end times) for at least a rolling four-year period, or longer if currently engaged in litigation.

Skip to content
Skip to content