Meal Break Waiver Agreement
Mandatory meal agreements differ from declarations of waiver of the meal period. The pay scales provide for a “service” meal period, which is an exception to the necessary break for meals, if the following conditions are met: if the total working time per day does not exceed six hours for a worker, the meal period may be cancelled by mutual agreement of both the employer and the worker. If the total working time does not exceed 12 hours, the second meal cannot be cancelled at the same time as the employer and the worker if the first meal has not been cancelled. Labour Code Section 512. If you would like to learn more about employee rights with respect to the meal break or legal waiver declarations for food breaks, please contact our Orange County office today. (3) Workers may waive breaks for shifts of less than 6 hours or positions less than 12 hours. A “service” meal period is permitted only if the nature of the work prevents a worker from being exempted from any obligation and from agreeing to a paid meal in the workplace by written agreement between the parties. The written agreement stipulates that the worker can revoke the contract in writing at any time. Click here for more information on collective agreements. The implementation of a lunchtime agreement in California should be approached with caution and should only be carried out with the help of competent consultants. 4. Meal breaks for shifts of less than six hours and less than 12 hours are not required in writing, but should be.
We conclude that Section 512 requires, without giving up, a first meal no later than the end of a worker`s fifth hour of work and a second meal no later than the end of a worker`s 10th hour of work. While workers may work voluntarily through food breaks when the employer knows or should have known that the worker is working during this period, the employer must ensure that the worker is paid for the working time. It is important to have a written document that you use for the agreement of a staff member to waive a meal period, as waiver declarations are not effective unless they are written and signed by the employee and his supervisor. A meal waiver form allows your employee to waive the 30-minute break that companies must provide in accordance with California labor laws. Wage Regulation 4-2001 (a) (emphasized). Unfortunately, the definition of “nature of work” is unclear and has been interpreted very narrowly against employers. For example, the Department of Laboratory Standards (“LLSE”) has issued an opinion letter on whether a postmaster can have a “service” meal at a night-time fast food restaurant. The DLSE concluded that, given the facts presented in the fast-food situation, the type of work in the restaurant should not prevent the postmaster from being relieved of any task for 30 minutes, so that the abandoned meal would not be valid in this context. Click here to download the opinion letter. Today I will discuss the abandonment of food breaks. This is the second article in my “Understanding California Meal Breaks” series.
As noted in the first post in this series, the general rule is that California employers must provide food breaks to employees who work more than five hours. But there are some limited exceptions to this general rule. This contribution examines the circumstances in which employers and workers may agree to waive workers` meal breaks. Next week, I will explain the other main exception to the general rule: offer meal breaks to service workers. Although not necessary, I still recommend employers to reduce this waiver of writing.