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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11872
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My job is that of providing break relief for other nurses in

Customer Question

My job is that of providing break relief for other nurses in the hospital. To be in compliance with the labor law, I must have all lunches done within 6 hours from their time of arrival at the hospital. We have been short staffed and was told today that I had to cover more units which would put me out of compliance with the labor law. When this was presented to the supervisor, she became adamant that I must. In fact, we called the Director of Nurses and she said to "forget the law" and "give the nurses their breaks." Am I jeopardizing my job by not following the labor law?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: California
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes. There is currently a class action law suit pending.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I believe that covers it. Thank you.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to assist you. Please just give me a moment to review your question....

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 5 months ago.

California law makes it illegal to retaliate against an employee because that employee enforced or attempted to enforce their rights under the Labor Code. The right to lunch breaks is a right provided by the Labor Code and so it would be illegal for your employer to take any sort of adverse employment action against you because you insisted on receiving a lunch.

That said, as a practical matter, retaliation can often be extremely difficult to prove, and if you are terminated you will spend months in highly stressful litigation against your employer. This is to say, it is generally prudent to pick your battles. Just because you have a right does not mean it is always in your best interest to enforce that right. So, ultimately what you need to do is assess whether the risks of retaliation are lesser or greater than the benefit of getting a lunch within 6 hours. Keep in mind, also, that you can always pursue a claim for penalties for failure to provide required lunches up to three years after the lunch violations occurred. This means it might be possible to delay pursuit of such a claim until after you find alternative employment at some point down the road.

If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....