Question regarding meal break liability : LUSENET : Law Of The Workplace : One Thread

My question relates to the break penalty provisions contained in Labor Code section 226.7. Specifically, a small business with 9 employees has consistently granted the ten minute (in practice 15-20 min) breaks as required, but the employees requested, and were granted, the opportunity to work without an unpaid meal break. The business has recently been contacted by a former employee, and it is now aware that such breaks are mandatory. The question is whether there is any relief from this provision. The business has nine current employees that are potential plaintiffs, with total liability of over $50,000. If fully enforced, the business will go under and the nine employees will lose their jobs. Moreover the assets of the business are less than $10,000, so a liquidation is likely to yield pennies on the dollar to the employees. WHat's the best way to handle this. (BTW, as you can see, legal expenses would likely eat up whatever assets may exist)

-- Michael Barker (, July 22, 2003


Well, I'd start allowing the breaks. As for the total of 9 employees, some would be exempt, most likely: sometimes employees might not have reached the minimum of 3.5 hours; plus there are special rules for particular industries. Cut & paste this url into your browser if there is no link:

-- Gerald P. Cunningham (, August 04, 2003.

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