Meal breaks under California law and how to navigate them in KitchenSync.

When an employee works for a work period of more than five hours, a thirty-minute meal period must be provided no later than the end of the employee’s fifth hour of work (in other words, no later than the start of the employee’s sixth hour of work).  When an employee works for a period of more than 10 hours, a second meal period must be provided no later than the end of the employee’s tenth hour of work (in other words, no later than the start of the employee’s eleventh hour of work). 

These rules are subject to certain waivers by mutual consent:

  • If the total work period per day of the employee is no more than six hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee.
  • If the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee only if the first meal period was not waived.

If an employer fails to provide an employee an owed meal period , the employer must pay one additional hour of pay at the employee's regular rate of pay for each workday that the meal period is not provided.

You can read more about meal breaks here and here

Meal Break Cheat Sheet

Hours Worked No Lunch Break Lunch Break Required Second Lunch Break Required
Less than 5 hours No lunch break required    
5 or more hours but 6 or less hours   30-min lunch break (waivable by employee)  
More than 6 hours but less than 10 hours   30-min lunch break required  
10 or more hours but less than 12 hours   30-min lunch break required Two 30-min breaks required (one waivable by employee)
12 or more hours   30-min lunch break required Two 30-min breaks required

How to add meal break pay in KitchenSync

Navigate to Payroll > Employee Earnings

Enter one hour’s pay for each meal break missed under the "meal break pay" earning code, then press save. *Make sure to add the extra hour of pay under the correct position

Navigate to the payroll summary to review your work.

HubSpot Video

Need extra help?

If you would like our payroll team to automatically add meal break pay, please submit a request to payroll@kitchensync.us. Please note, only payroll administration or HR clients are eligible for this service.