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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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If my lunch break is suppose to be 1130 to 1200 and I am out

Resolved Question:

If my lunch break is suppose to be 1130 to 1200 and I am out in the field and have to go to my yard for lunch am I required to to leave my work area at 1130, and use the travel time of 10minutes to get to my job as part of my lunch
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 5 years ago.
My apologies for the delay. Sometimes questions get lost and I don't see them until long after they've been posted.

From your question, I assume you are employed in some sort of construction industry capacity. If you are covered by a collective bargaining agreement (i.e., a union), then my answer may be incorrect, and you will have to defer to your union representative for advice.

Labor Code 512 requires "(a) An employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than five hours per day without providing the employee with a meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that if the total work period per day of the employee is no more than six hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee. An employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than 10 hours per day without providing the employee with a second meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and the employee only if the first meal period was not waived."

You state that you must "go to my yard for lunch." If this requirement is mandated by your employer, then your travel time is for your employer's benefit, and therefore you are still on the clock until you reach the yard. This means that you are being deprived of 10 minutes of meal time, and the employer is in violation of the Labor Code.

If the requirement that you return to the yard is because, e.g., you happen to leave your lunch at that location, rather than take it with you into the field, then the travel time is for your benefit, and your employer is not depriving you of meal time, nor is there a violation of the Labor Code.

Hope this helps.

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