Are You Unintentionally Breaking CA Lunch Break Laws?

Are You Unintentionally Breaking CA Lunch Break Laws?

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california lunch punch laws

As an employer, you already have so many things to worry about, from delivering the best Employee Benefits packing to retaining and attracting your top employees. The last thing you want is to run into substantial fines for breaking California’s hyper specific wage and hour laws. Today we’re talking about how important it is to have a plan and policy in place to ensure compliance so you don’t end up having to pay big money.

Decoding lunch punch laws.

You might be saying, “I’m not so worried about this.” Well, here’s a simple example that shows just how complex this can get:

Let’s say your employee is eating lunch at their desk. Are they:

  • Working
  • Taking a break
  • On their lunch hour

Not so easy to nail down, is it? Making sure employees get their required breaks and that these breaks are recorded properly is a bigger challenge than it seems on the surface.

California law says employees must receive a full break allowance, so rounding up time clock punches is no longer a permitted activity. An employee who is not relieved of all their duties during their lunch break is still considered “on duty.” This includes employees who are relieved of all duties but must remain on the work site. An “on duty” meal break still counts as hours worked and must be compensated at the employee’s standard rate of pay. On top of this, now that so many teams are working remotely, it’s even more impossible to track when an employee is “on duty” accurately. More so than ever, you need to have a robust Time and Attendance system in place to ensure Compliance.

A great Time and Attendance system can make recording employee breaks virtually foolproof. Employees can use a smart phone app or web portal to clock in and out electronically from anywhere. This system is a win-win, it gives employees a simple way to track their time while providing you with an accurate account of the time worked and robust reporting so you can get a good look at the productivity and efficiency of your company.

Without a great Time and Attendance system to help you automate certain processes and accurately track your employees’ work hours and breaks, you can easily end up mired in a costly Wage and Hour dispute. Wage and Hour disputes are the number one, most popular lawsuits facing employers today. Let’s make sure you’re not next, get a plan in place.

If you don’t have a plan, give us a call at 818.377.7260

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