Learning Center


Missed Meal Penalties

Posted by Pacific Timesheet Support on Nov 19, 2009 8:03:00 PM

When you get a missed meal penalty may not always be obvious

Pacific Timesheet computes missed meals according to California labor and wage laws. To determine whether a day's work warrants a missed meal penalty the hours are divided into 5 hours blocks. Any block of work greater than 5 hours gets a missed meal penalty. Take the following example:

In Out Hours
9:00AM 12:00PM 3.00
12:45PM 6:45PM 6.00

You would be forgiven to expect a missed meal penalty for the second punch, as it is greater than 5 hours. But you won't actually receive one! When applying California rules you compute the first 5 hour block to start at 9:00AM and end at 2:45PM, adjusting for the 45 minute break taken. As there was a meal break taken there is no penalty for this first 5 hour block. The next 5 hour block is computed to start at 2:45PM and would end at 7:45PM. Since the employee punched out at 6:45PM they only had 4.00 hours in the second block and therefore no missed meal penalty! They would have had to work beyond 7:45PM to get a missed meal penalty.

As you can see, you can get unexpected behavior from something as seemingly simple as a missed meal penalty when using California wage and labor rules.

Subscribe Now


Recent Posts