In California, 'non exempt' employees are entitled to a 30 minute unpaid meal break for each five hour period worked during their shift.

When an employer fails to provide an employee with their meal break, the employee is entitled to one extra hour of pay at the employee’s regular hourly rate

The missed meal break penalty automatically identifies when a meal break has been missed and applies the extra one hour of pay to the relevant timecard.

Note - By default the break allocation tables have been configured to allocate breaks as prescribed by Californian legislation.  


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  2. Administrator access

Main Menu > Compliance > Breaks > Missed Meal Breaks

Break penalty calculations

A break penalty is applied when either of the following two scenarios occur:

  • Worker works a shift that extends beyond 6 hours without taking a meal break

  • Worker works a shift that extends beyond 12 hours without taking two separate meal breaks 

Note - The missed meal break penalty is only be applied once per workday
E.g. worker works a 14 hour shift and does not take either of the two mandatory 30 min meal breaks; only one penalty is applied.

Allowing for break waivers

The break penalty is not applied in the following scenarios:

  • Break was not taken, however, shift duration fell within the period of time that the break was able to be waived

  • Break was taken, however, the full 30 minutes of the break was not taken. 

In both these scenarios the break penalty is not applied because it is assumed that the break, or remaining portion of the break, was waived by the worker. Learn more about managing break waivers using OpenSimSim clock out disclaimers.

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