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Previously a supervisor at a major drug store chain..can count how many breaks and lunchs i took with one hand for 3 years

Long Beach, CA |

Last year i left this drug store chain, after working for there for 3 years. As a struggling company they only allowed one supervisor to work at a time (well in my distrist atleast) meaning 8 hours straight no breaks or lunches. We were warned that if we left the store or were caught in the break room we would be left go of (fired). I have always wondered if i should have filed a complaint some where and/or seeked advice from an lawyer. Would doing anything now be worth while ? I have kept all my time sheets and still keep in close contact with some of the employees still there. I would love to put this to rest in my mind as well as provide my ex-co-workers with some knowledge. thanks in advance ..

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Attorney answers 2


Under Labor Code Section 226.7, employers that fail to provide a meal or rest period that complies with this law must pay an employee an extra hour's pay for each day of noncompliance. That means employers may have to pay up to two hours of additional wages if the employer fails to comply with both requirements in the same day.

Employers are only required to provide the opportunity for breaks and lunches but are not required to insure that they are taken. You essentially must show that the employer somehow prevented you from taking breaks and lunches. Based on the information you provided, your employer may very well have violated the law.

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the statute of limitations is two years, but can be extended to three years for "willful" violations. Under California law, the statute of limitations is three years under the labor code, but can be four years under unfair competition laws.

You should consult with an employment attorney for a full evaluation. Good luck.

Law Offices of Linh T. Nguyen 916.509.7200 Disclaimer: This reply is not intended to be and does not constitute legal advice or the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. I always recommend consulting with an attorney, especially since many attorneys offer free, no-obligation consultations.


California wage and hour laws do not require an employer to provide rest and meal periods to exempt employees. As a supervisor, you may have been exempt. Therefore, before any determination can be made about whether or not you were denied required meal and rest periods, you will have to determine if you were an exempt or non-exempt employee.

The Wage Order for your industry should be reviewed and compared to your job responsibilities. You can find the Wage Orders at the following website:

If you have any question about whether or not your position was exempt or not, you should consult with an employment law attorney and discuss the details of your job.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

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