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April 13, 2005
California Revises Proposal on Meal and Rest Periods

The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) has revised proposed meal and rest period regulations and is seeking comment.

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In addition, the DLSE sent letters to those who submitted written comments informing them of the revisions to the proposed regulations and outlining the 15-day comment period for further feedback from the public.

Three public hearings were held throughout California in February and March of this year asking for comments regarding the proposed meal and rest period regulations.

The revised proposed meal and rest period regulations include language which specifies that agricultural workers are not affected by the new regulations as stated in Labor Code section 554(a); strengthens employees' rights to take a meal period; and protects employees from retaliation for exercising this right, according to the DLSE.

Furthermore, the revised language states that not only does an employer have to keep accurate time records to prove that workers have taken their meal periods, but has to provide employees with a meal period, and that even though an employer can prove a meal period has been taken an employer is not off the hook for not maintaining accurate time records.

Other areas that were clarified include defining a work period to mean when an employee begins work and stops for the day.

To view the revised proposed meal and rest period regulations, visit

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