California has very strict labor laws that are aimed at protecting workers. Despite these protections and the regulatory actions that can be brought against employers who violate them, businesses fail to adequately adhere to labor laws all the time. That means that it’s on you to stand up for your rights if your employer has wronged you. Even something as seemingly minor as missed meal breaks may serve as a basis for legal action.
Building your legal claim
Previously on the blog we’ve discussed what constitutes a meal break under the law and employers’ obligations with regard to providing those breaks. But if you suspect that your employer is violating your rights pertaining to these breaks, then the question becomes how do you prove that in a court of law.
It can be a challenging question to answer, but you shouldn’t be so daunted by it that you neglect to take action altogether. Instead, here are some things that you can do to start building your claim so that you can seek to hold your employer accountable:
- Take notes of all missed meal breaks, including dates, times, and the surrounding circumstances, and be sure to notate missed breaks as far back as you can remember
- Talk to other workers to see if they’re being left devoid of mandatory breaks
- Keep correspondences from your employer pertaining to breaks, trying to ensure that those discussions are kept in writing
- Don’t overlook paid rest breaks, too, as you may be entitled to more compensation if your employer has failed to provide you with meal and rest breaks as required under the law
Give yourself the voice you deserve
We know that standing up to your employer can be scary. You might fear retaliation, but you shouldn’t let that dissuade you from standing up for your rights and giving yourself a voice. After all, the law protects you from retaliation, too.
So, if you think that your employer has been mistreating you by refusing to provide you with meal and rest breaks, then think about reaching out to an attorney who is skilled in this area of the law and who can help you build the legal arguments that you need to recover what you are rightfully owed.