Most California employers know that they are required to provide a 30 minute meal break to nonexempt employees. That meal break must begin no later than 4 hours and 59 minutes into one’s shift, unless the shift can be completed in less than six hours, in which case it can be waived. If the employer impedes an employees’ ability to take the meal break or discourages an employee from taking timely breaks, the employee is owed one hour of pay for the missed meal break(s).
Apple must have forgotten this rule. A class action lawsuit filed by retail Apple employees claimed that not only were employees unable to take their meal breaks, they were discouraged from discussing the missed meal breaks and other working conditions at work. This resulted in a $2 million verdict against Apple in favor of the employees.
Apple also failed to provide final paychecks as required under California law. Remember, if an employee gives you more than 72 hours notice that he or she is quitting, the final paycheck is due on that last day of work. If you are given less than 72 hours notice, you have 72 hours to prepare the final paycheck.
Just when we think meal breaks and final pay are old news, we are reminded of the difficulty with California labor and employment law compliance. Don’t get caught in a mistake—CEA is here to help!