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When is it required by law to take a lunch break?

San Jose, CA |

If I regularly work over 5 consecutive hours (example 5 1/2 or 6 straight hours) and then I take my lunch break, is that illegal??

Can I go to the fair labor boar and file a cliam?

I have record's, indicating I have worked more that 5- 6 consecutive hours, before clocking out for my lunch. What can I do?

Attorney Answers 2


Your employer should have instructed you to clock out by the 5th hour of work for at least a 1/2 hour lunch break. That is the law. You don't state details such as whether you were instructed to work longer, or were not provided with relief to take a lunch break. It also depends on the type of workplace, such as office versus restaurant, etc... that may make a difference.

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Thank You for your response. I work in an office. There have been time's where i was instructed and time's were, no one was able to relieve me of my duties. I the lead of a group of individual's, so until some of my daily deadline's are complete I am unable to take a lunch.


Statutory authority regulates your lunch breaks. The issue becomes very muddled when or if you voluntarily do not take the lunch or break when you have a right to take said time off. It is different than if your employer is prohibiting you from taking your lunch and/or breaks in a timely fashion, which would be actionable. If there is no such prohibition, and you are electing to take such action by and through your own elective decision, then your likelihood of success is rather dismal.

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