This continues to be a question posed by our clients. The answer may not be as easy as you think. The Department of Labor Standards Enforcement has been on the prowl. Let me hear from you.
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Don’t you need to take a lunch if you have worked 5 hours or more?
Under California Law an employee is entitled to a 30 minute lunch for every 5 hours of work. Furthermore the the lunch has to begin before the conclusion of the 5th hour. If not, you will owe the employee one hour of pay as a penalty (even if the lunch begins 1 minute past the 5th hour. I confirmed this today with a Deputy Labor Commissioner.
What is the potential penalty for the employee who does not clock out by the 5th hour?
One hour of pay is the penalty! This went into effect in 2004.
Is this strictly enforced for Sales Consultant also?
Lunch breaks are to be taken by the end of the 5th hour. As long as they clock out before the 5th hour ends, you are ok. To be honest, sales consultants are arguably in a different position. They are 100% commission but in the current state of the economy, some of these individuals are making more for their hours worked then they are making from commissions. So now is the time to be careful with them.
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