Vincent W Davis

Meal Periods

by Vincent Davis on July 22, 2013

Is your employer making you work through lunch?  Many employers try to squeeze extra time out of you without paying for it.  They also make you work through, and don’t provide time off for a lunch break.  They do this in different ways:

  • Your employer asks you to clock out for lunch, but makes you stay at your station to monitor some equipment or handle the phones.
  • Your employer doesn’t give you time off for lunch, making you work straight through.  This is especially true of restaurants, bars, and other “service” professions where the lunch period would fall into a time period when things are busy.

The problem is, you are putting in time and going without lunch, all for your employer’s benefit, and he isn’t paying you for your time.

Under California law, if you work more than five hours on a shift, you are entitled to at least 30 minutes uninterrupted time to eat your lunch and take care of personal issues, unless you have a written agreement with your employer to work straight through a six hour shift.   (If you work longer than six hours, you are entitled to a lunch period during your work period.)    If your employer fails to provide you with at least a 30 minute uninterrupted meal period, or makes you work through your meal period, your employer must pay you one additional hour’s pay.   The law requires it.  The law is on your side.

For Example, a waitress reports to work at 4:00 p.m. and works until finished cleaning up after closing and clocking out at 10:45 without being allowed to take a meal break.     Her employer must pay her an additional one hour’s wages for not having provided her a chance to stop and eat.

Another example:  John reports to work in Los Angeles at 8:00 a.m. and brings his lunch each day and gets an hour off for lunch time each day.  At 10:00 John’s boss tells him to make a delivery to Palm Springs and that he has to be at Palm Springs no later than 12:00, and must be back in Los Angeles not later than 3:00 p.m. as the truck is needed for a pick-up run and has to be in San Diego at 6:00 p.m.  John eats his lunch while driving to Palm Springs and when he arrives, it takes John an hour to unload before beginning his return trip.  When John returns at 3:00 p.m., he continues working until the end of his regular shift at 5:00 p.m.   What has happened is that John worked right through his lunch time, and therefore has worked nine hours, and is due one hour of overtime pay at time and a half.   In addition, since his employer has not provided John at least a 30 minute uninterrupted meal period, the employer must also pay John an additional hour at regular pay as compensation for a missed meal period.   If John makes $20 per hour, he is entitled to an additional $50.00 in his pay check, an additional hour at time and a half for $30.00 and an additional hour at regular time for another $20.00 for the missed meal period.

If your employer is not paying you for missed meal periods, the Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis & Associates can help you.   If your employer isn’t paying you everything you have earned, we can help you get up to four years worth of unpaid earnings.

We will help you handle your matter by representing you on a contingency fee basis, meaning we will only get paid if we are successful in getting you what you have earned.    There is no need to pay us now, the law provides that if we go to trial and are successful in getting you the wages you have earned, wages that you have a right to, then the employer will have to pay for your attorney’s fees.   And, “contingency fee” means we only earn an attorney fee if we are successful.

Call the Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis & Associates today at (626) 446-6442.




Arcadia Office
150 N. Santa Anita Ave,
Suite 200
Arcadia, CA 91006
Phone: (626) 446-6442
Fax: (626)-446-6454

Beverly Hills Office
9465 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 300
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (310)-880-5733

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Cerritos Towne Center
17777 Center Court Drive ,
Suite 600
Cerritos, California, 90703
Phone: 888-888-6542

Los Angeles Office
Gas Company Tower
555 West Fifth Street,
31st Floor
Los Angeles, California, 90013
Phone: (213)-400-4132

Long Beach Office
Landmark Square
111 West Ocean Blvd.,
Suite 400
Long beach, California, 90802

Irvine Office
Oracle Tower
17901 Von Karman Avenue,
Suite 600
Irvine, California, 92614
Phone: (949)-203-3971
Fax: (949)-203-3972

Ontario Office
Lakeshore Center
3281 E. Guasti Road,
7th Floor
City of Ontario, California, 91761

Riverside Office
Turner Riverwalk
11801 Pierce Street,
Suite 200
Riverside, California, 92505
Phone: (909)-996-5644

San Diego
Emerald Plaza
402 West Broadway,
Suite #400
San Diego, California, 92101
Phone: (619)-885-2070

Aliso Viejo
Ladera Corporate Terrace
999 Corporate Drive,
Suite 100
Ladera Ranch, California, 92694
Phone: (714) 721-3822

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