bluntly is it ok for my employer to think that because I work 12 hours its ok to make me work 10 hours before they are required to give me lunch?
A: I apologize if my answer was not clear. The California labor regulation that I provided in my first answer permits an employee in the health care industry who works a shift in excess of 8 hours, to waive one of his/her meal breaks, by providing the consent waiver to the employer in writing.
This exactly fits with your stated facts. Your employer apparently believes that you signed a consent to a waiver of your first meal period. If you did, then the employer can make you work through the first 5 hours, and then not provide a lunch break until hour 10.
If you wish to avoid this outcome, you can revoke the waiver in writing, as described in my original answer. Once you revoke the waiver, your employer must give you a meal break no later than hour five (5) of your work day.
Now, if you signed a waiver of your second work break, and your employer has been forcing you to work through the first 10 hours without a break, then you are entitled to one hour of additional wages for every day that this has occurred, and you can recover those additional wages, retroactive to the beginning of the statute of limitations, which is 3 years. Code Civ. Proc. § 338(a).
If you find that your waiver is in fact for the first meal break, then you can file a claim with the DLSE.
Please let me know if I can clarify anything or assist you further.