You should schedule your lunch and breaks by agreement with your supervisor. You are entitled to these breaks, based on your schedule:





Fewer than 3.5 hours None None
3.5-5 hours One, 15 Minutes None
5-6 hours Two, 15 Minutes Each 30 Minutes Minimum

60 Minutes Maximum

6-8 hours Two, 15 Minutes Each 30 Minutes Minimum

60 Minutes Maximum

If you work 12 hours or more, you are entitled to a second meal break. (CA Labor Code 512). You are entitled to an additional 15 minute rest break for each 4 hours you work beyond 8.

I have to stay at work during my lunch, shouldn’t I be paid?

Yes. If you are required by your supervisor to remain at your work site during the meal period, the meal period must be paid. This is true even whereyou are relieved of all work duties during the meal period. Bono Enterprises, In. v. Bradshaw (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th 968.

What if I don’t get my lunch break?

If the District doesn’t provide you with a meal break, they must pay one additional hour of pay at your regular rate of pay for each workday that the meal period is not provided. IWC Orders and Labor Code Section 226.7

Facilities for Meal Period on Night Duty

If a meal period occurs on a shift beginning or ending at or between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., facilities must be available for securing hot food and drink or for heating food or drink, and a suitable sheltered place must be provided in which to consume such food or drink.

When should I take my Break and Lunch?

Any employee assigned to a full-time position is required to work 8 hours a day during the normal business hours of the site. A lunch period is taken on the employee’s own time. A full-time employee who reports to work at 8:00 a.m., and takes a one-hour lunch is required to stay on the job until 5:00 p.m. Wherever possible, the rest period shall be taken close to the middle of each work assignment. Rest break scheduling is subject to approval of the employee’s supervisor.

Can I just leave early and skip lunch?

No. Rest and lunch periods not taken cannot be accumulated or be used to shorten the work schedule at either the beginning or end of the assignment.



Additional Resources

SFUSD memo on rest and lunch breaks

CA Department of Industrial Relations: Rest Periods | Meal Periods

“What Break Periods am I Entitled To?” at CA Labor Law

Break Time for Nursing Mothers