I have worked for a big corporation for the past 6 and a half years and probably 4 to 5 of those years I have not gotten regular rest period breaks and they have not been enforced. The store I work for has a front store that does give breaks and I work in the back in the pharmacy where breaks are practically frowned upon and you cant even take a bathroom break without someone getting mad at you for leaving. This has caused me great additional anxiety and stress and it has affected my health mentally and physically and I just can't take it anymore letting them get away with this.
First, contact an employment attorney and discuss the matter with them fully. The issue of employees missing rest periods has become rather pressing in recent years, and there's been a lot of good decisions from California courts. You can find an employment attorney on this site, or go to the website of the California Employment Lawyers Association, www.cela.org, and use the "find a member" function. Best of luck.
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It sounds like your employer may well be violating California law regarding rest breaks. Since your employer is a major company, there may already be a class action enforcing these rights, or you could speak with an employment attorney about bringing one yourself. (We have a class action pending that matches your description and would love to hear from you as you may be a witness.)
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First, the longest any attorney can go back to collect the penalty for failure to provide the opportunity to take breaks is 4 years. As such, you should act quickly so you don't lose more time on your claim. If you are a nonexempt employee (most pharmacy workers are, including pharmacists) your employer has a duty to provide you with the opportunity to take duty free paid rest periods. If not, you are owed one hour of pay each day that occurred. Estimate the amount of days you did not receive the opportunity to take one or more rest periods and call an employment law attorney to discuss. A demand letter from an employment law attorney is likely the best strategy. It is unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you for asserting your right to duty free rest periods. The other option is to file a claim with the Calif. Labor Commissioner's office and represent yourself.
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