Note: These provisions apply only to certain, regulated industries.
In California, wage orders regulating meal and rest periods exist for the following 15 industries and occupations: manufacturing; personal services; canning, freezing and preserving; professional, technical, clerical, mechanical and similar occupations; public housekeeping; laundry, linen supply, dry cleaning and dyeing; mercantile; industries handling products after harvest; transportation; amusement and recreation; broadcasting; motion pictures; industries preparing agricultural products for market on the farm; agricultural occupations; and household occupations.
Generally, employers in these regulated industries must grant rest periods at the rate of 10 minutes of rest time for every four hours or major fraction thereof worked. However, no rest period is necessary if total daily work time is less than three and one-half hours. No deduction from wages may be made for authorized rest time. Insofar as practicable, a rest period must be in the middle of each work period.
In all but the broadcasting and motion picture industries, the rule for meal periods is that no person may be employed for a work period of more than five hours without a meal period of not less than 30 minutes. However, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent if a work period of not more than six hours will complete the day's work. Unless the employee is completely relieved of duty, the meal period must be considered time worked. Also, if employees must eat on the premises, a suitable place for that purpose must be designated.
For the broadcasting and motion picture industries, the rule is that no person may be employed for a work period of more than six hours without a meal period of not less than 30 minutes nor more than one hour, and that subsequent meal periods must be called not later than six hours after termination of the preceding meal period.
In the lumber industry, the law provides that every sawmill, shakemill,
shinglemill, logging camp, planing mill, veneer mill, plywood plant or any other
type of plant or mill that processes or manufactures any lumber, lumber
products, or allied wood products in California must allow its employees a
period of not less than one-half hour for the midday meal, between the third and
fifth hours of each day's shift.