The Importance of Employee Breaks

HomeBlogThe Importance of Employee Breaks
July 29, 2023

It’s easy to get lost in our work and to lose sight of how important taking breaks can be. Such breaks, however, can play a significant role in productivity and overall job satisfaction. Additionally, breaks are a matter of law. California employers who fail to provide required rest and meal breaks can be held legally responsible, and if you’ve been affected by improper break practices on the job, an experienced California employment law attorney can help.

Failure to Take Rest and Meal Breaks

Recent research suggests that far too many employees are in the practice of skipping breaks altogether. Consider the following statistics shared:

  • Less than half of those employees surveyed reported taking lunch breaks away from their desks on an average workday. 
  • A full 20 percent of employees eat lunch at their desks as a matter of course.
  • About 13 percent of employees seldom – if ever – take time off for lunch at all.

The fact is, however, that when we take regular breaks from the work at hand, it allows us the time necessary to absorb the task, which can lead to more creative solutions and can render the work less arduous.  

Employees who skip breaks miss the opportunity to reinvigorate themselves and, as a result, can be less efficient, can make more errors, and can find themselves less invested in the work they do. Taking regular breaks also helps to reduce eye strain and can improve your health overall by increasing your physical activity – if you take the opportunity to get up and move when you have the chance. In other words, taking regular work breaks has much to recommend it. 

The Emotional Benefits of Breaks

There are even emotional benefits to taking the rest and meal breaks on the job that you’re entitled to, including:

  • It can help reduce stress overall.
  • It can improve job satisfaction.
  • It can help reduce the level of fatigue you experience.

Each of these can play a significant role in your overall mood, which can help decrease anxiety and symptoms related to depression.

Your Right to Breaks on the Job

Most employees in California are entitled to all the following meal and rest breaks:

  • A paid rest break of 10 minutes for every four hours on the job
  • An unpaid 30-minute uninterrupted meal break for every workday that exceeds 5 hours
  • An additional unpaid 30-minute uninterrupted meal break for every workday that exceeds 12 hours 

These breaks are owed to you, and the associated benefits make protecting your right to rest and meal breaks well worth the effort. Your ability to perform your job, advance your career, and support your health could depend on it. 

It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced California Employment Law Attorney

The accomplished California employment law attorneys at Olivier & Schreiber LLP appreciate how important rest and meal breaks are to employees and have the focus and drive to zealously pursue advantageous outcomes for those employees who are deprived of their right to these breaks. Your claim is important, so please don’t wait to reach out and contact us for more information today.




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