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Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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I was terminated because I did not take a 30 minute lunch break

Customer Question

I was terminated because I did not take a 30 minute lunch break more than 6 times in a 6 month period. I think the termination was unfair because at the time I could not get a substitute salesperson and secondly if I was able to get a substitute I lose 50% of the commision...a very expensive lunch break!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome,

Employers are permitted to enact and enforce such policies typically. They can be severely fined by the state labor board if they do not enforce employee lunch and break times and many employers are heavily penalized.

Therefore, there would normally be no recourse against the employer for terminating your employment for this reason, even though you lost out on a commission.

I'm sorry.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Modern courts have the power to grant "fairness remedies". As currently worded the Ca Lunch Law does not explicitly state that the employer must force you to take the lunch break only to make sure you have the opportunity to have a lunch break. The CA Supreme Court is currently reviewing this law. As it it is practiced now it's "a bone-headed one size fits all" law which penalizes commission sales people.
Expert:  Tina replied 5 years ago.
I appreciate your opinion. Nonethless, as the law currently stands, employers are able to terminate employees for this reason.

I'm sorry.