California law requires employers to provide employees with a 30-minute, duty-free, meal period if an employee works more than 5 hours. If the employee works 6 hours or less, the meal period may be waived by mutual agreement between the employer and employee. If an employee works more than 10 hours, the employee is entitled to another 30-minute, duty-free, meal period. While an employee may agree to waive the right to an off-duty meal period once in a given day, the circumstances in which the waiver may occur are very strict.Employers also must provide employees with 10 minute rest breaks for every 3.5 hours worked.
If an employer fails to provide employees the required rest and meal periods, the employer must pay the employee an extra hour of compensation.