A powerful tool to simplify California compliance

California has one of the highest penalties for broken labor and employment laws. Are you keeping up?

Deputy makes it simple to manage the most complex requirements with confidence. 

Compliance in California with Deputy

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California complex compliance with Deputy

California Employment Law Compliance

In California, workers are entitled to many rights and protections – from overtime wages to meal breaks and rest periods. If employers don’t comply, there’s a lot at stake.

How can business owners and managers navigate these laws and avoid compliance risks?

Deputy’s smart features and guardrails help businesses simplify compliance and protect their brand.

California Wage Laws

Meal Break Laws in California

Unpaid 30-minute meal breaks

Most non-exempt employees are entitled to one unpaid 30-minute meal break if they work for more than 5 hours on a shift. Employees must take their meal breaks before the end of the 5th hour of work. Some employees may sign meal break waivers if their shift is six hours or less.

On-duty meal breaks

If a non-exempt employee elects to have an on-duty meal break, where they continue to work during the meal break and get paid, it must agreed in writing. And the employer must inform the employee of their right to revoke the agreement at any time.

A second unpaid meal break

A second unpaid meal break must be provided if the shift is longer than 10 hours. That meal break must be provided no later than the end of the tenth hour of work. They can agree to waive the second meal break but can only do so when they do not work more than 12 hours and did not waive their first meal break.

Missed Break Payments

If non-exempt employees are not given breaks at appropriate times, they can receive up to two hours of missed break premium pay for each day they weren’t given a proper meal or rest break.

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Meal Break Laws in California

California meal breaks compliance with Deputy

Rest Break Laws in California

Rest breaks

Rest breaks in California for most non-exempt employees are ten consecutive minutes and must be paid. Workers are entitled to one rest break if they work at least 3.5 hours to 5 hours in a day, two rest breaks if they work over 6 hours in a day, and three rest breaks if they work over 10 hours in a day.

On-duty meal breaks

A rest break is not required if the non-exempt employee works fewer than 3.5 hours. Rest breaks cannot be combined with meal breaks and should not be taken at the beginning or end of the shift.

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Rest Break Laws in California

California rest breaks compliance with Deputy
Fair workweek

Fair Workweek

Fair Workweek laws help make employee scheduling fair and stable. Also known as “predictive scheduling” or “secure scheduling”, they ensure businesses provide adequate rest between shifts and award shifts to part-timers before hiring new staff. See how Deputy helps simplify California Fair Workweek Compliance.

How Deputy helps California businesses simplify compliance with employment laws

It can be overwhelming to manage compliance requirements without the right software. Deputy makes it simple to navigate many federal and state labor laws, so you can protect your business. Our guardrails and automation help you oversee:

Overtime management and premium pay requirements

Get instant alerts when your staff are at risk of overtime. With our mobile app, easily find staff who can work the hours without penalties.

Break compliance

Ensure your staff get rest during their shifts. You can schedule meal or rest breaks, remind employees to take them, or flag any that are missed.

Active attestations for missed breaks

Automatically request attestation if staff clock in late, work at an unscheduled time, miss breaks, or leave early.

Why choose Deputy?

Our software’s power, simplicity, and mobility has earned us more than 330,000 happy customers — who are our greatest advocates. With Deputy, you’re not just saving time and money. You’re making life easier for your teams and helping them provide better service.

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Frequently asked questions

  • What is employment law compliance in California?

    California non-exempt workers are entitled to many rights and protections from wages to meal breaks to rest periods. Employers may face stiff penalties from regulators if they don’t comply with wage and hour requirements.

  • What are the meal and rest break requirements under California labor law?

    Most non-exempt employees are entitled to one unpaid 30-minute meal break and two paid 10-minute rest breaks during an 8-hour shift. Employees must take their meal breaks before the end of the 5th hour of work.

    Most non-exempt workers are also entitled to one paid 10-minute rest break if they work at least 3.5 hours in a day, two rest breaks if they work over 6 hours in a day, and three rest breaks if they work over 10 hours in a day.

  • How are California's labor laws differ from other states?

    Compared to most states, California's labor laws are more complex. Non-exempt workers are entitled to many rights and protections from overtime wages to meal breaks to rest periods to premium payments. Penalties can also be higher in California than in many other jurisdictions if employers don’t comply with their legal obligations toward their employees.

Compliance responsibilities

While Deputy’s workforce management software is designed to simplify compliance with many scheduling and timekeeping requirements, it is not a substitute for payroll or legal advice, nor is it intended to relieve you of your obligation to comply with the laws and regulatory requirements that are applicable to your business. It is ultimately each customer’s sole responsibility to pay their employees correctly and in compliance with all legal and contractual requirements. Please review our Product Specific Terms for more information about your compliance responsibilities.

The information provided on this website is for general informational and promotional purposes and is not payroll, legal, or tax advice.