A Quick Guide to Breaks in California
California Labor Laws for Breaks
Instead of researching through individual labor codes in California, one of the best resources any citizen can reference for an easy read on California labor law with breaks is the website here.
Within California, the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders requires an employer to allow a nonexempt employee to take a rest period within the middle of each work period. The rest period within California labor laws for breaks is based on the total amount of hours worked and must be a minimum amount of 10 minutes for every 4 hours of work.
There are certain exemptions to this California labor law for breaks although. Some of the following exemptions listed below detail different professions in which certain exemptions exist:
1. IWC Order 5-2001 Section 12(c)- for certain 24-hour residential care facilities that may not be able to allow breaks during certain circumstances
2. IWC Order 12-2001 Section 12(c)- for professional swimmers, dancers, skaters, and other performers who will have interval rest periods throughout their physical work
3. IWC Order 16-2001 Section 11(a)- this California labor law around breaks is for occupations such as construction, drilling, logging, and mining in which a break would cause a disruption if flow and work that needs continuous operation. Under this law, employers must make up the time through additional breaks or compensation for pay.
4. IWC Order 10-2001 Section 12(c)- these California labor laws for breaks state that a crew member on a commercial passenger fishing boat needs to receive at least eight hours of off-duty time within any given 24-hour time period. These breaks do not account for additional meal and rest periods.
5. Labor Code Section 1030- this California labor law for breaks states that private and public employers must allow a proper amount of time for an employee to express breast milk for their child. If possible, the break time will run in correlation with regular break periods, and an employer must provide a clean and proper location for this person under California labor laws in breaks.
In addition to the California labor laws for breaks listed above, a California employer cannot force an employee to work more than five hours a day without providing a minimum 30-minute, unpaid period for a meal. In some cases, this California labor law for breaks can be waived if the workday is only 6 hours and the employer and employee agree. There are multiple exemptions to these California labor laws for breaks, and exemptions can be found at the following link.
California Labor Laws for Breaks and Minors
California follow federal labor laws, and these laws state that children of the ages of 14 or 15 cannot work during school hours, may not work more than three hours on a school day or 18 during the school week, and cannot work more than 40 hours during a non-school week. Additionally, under federal law, a minor 14 or 15 years old can only work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the school year and until 9 p.m. during the summer.