Can I legally take breaks at work?

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Posted by Legal Team On April 17, 2016

They say that if you find a job you love, you never work a day in your life. Many of us spend years searching for that dream job, but unfortunately, not everybody is lucky enough to find it. Other times, we have the opportunity to take our dream job, but it is not financially feasible depending on our circumstances. For those of us who do not work jobs that we love, time can seem to drag on, and we may begin to wonder just how much we work.

In California, a standard workweek is considered 40 hours per week or eight hours per day. This is true in many states all across the country. Additionally, employees who work for at least five consecutive hours are legally entitled to a 30-minute meal break. Employers are not legally required to pay employees for this break time.

Many people are familiar with 40 hour work weeks and short lunch breaks, but did you know that in the state of California, you may be entitled to a brief, paid respite during your workday? It’s true. Legally, your employer is required to allow you 10 minutes of paid rest per four hours of work you have performed. This means that during a traditional eight-hour workday, you can take up to 20 minutes of rest and relaxation and be paid to do so.

Of course, your employer may choose not to provide these breaks in the hopes that you do not question it. If you are denied these breaks for any reason, you could have legal recourse. Most employers will not want to risk a lawsuit, but depending on your circumstances, you could sue your employer for the lost break time. This just shows how important it is to be aware of your rights as an employee, and why you should not be afraid to take advantage of them.