All employers in California must allow a 10-minute break for all employees except for a few employees who are exempt from overtime pay. Employees can have a 10-minute break for every four hours of work. Since this 10-minute break is considered a part of the workday, employers are not allowed to deduct the 10-minute break from their employees ‘ pay.
Employees with eight hours of work per day can have a 10 minute break in the morning and a 10 minute break in the afternoon. Even if the employees used a total of 20 minutes of rest period, they are entitled to full 8 hours of work pay. However, unlike meal periods, these breaks are considered working hours, so employers may require employees to use the break time within the work premise. In that case, employers must provide an area within the work premise where employees can rest.
Please keep in mind that restroom breaks are not considered to be part of this 10-minute break and if the employees were not permitted to take rest periods, they are entitled to one hour of pay for each missed rest period.
However, employers do not need to keep a close eye on whether or not employees are using these rest periods. By law, employers are only obligated to clearly notify all employees of the availability of these rest periods and that the employees are free to use them. It is employees’ choice whether to use these rest periods or not but they cannot demand one hour of pay if they knowingly and voluntarily decided not to use them.