What If I Do Not Receive A Lunch Break?

Employees in California generally must take a 30-minute uninterrupted, off duty meal period (commonly referred to as a lunch break) within the first 5-hour work period if employees work more than 5 hours in a workday.  Employees must receive a second meal period if they work more than 10 hours in a workday.  If an employer fails to provide a nonexempt employee one or more of these meal periods in a workday, the employee is entitled to receive an additional one hour of wages as a premium on top of the regular wages.  Accordingly, it is technically only illegal for employers to deny nonexempt employees a meal period when employers do not pay employees the one-hour premium wage for each workday with a missed meal period.  

(See Link(s): Labor Code Section 226.7 and Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders)