Every month, a reader asks one of our sponsor legal experts about a work-related issue. These building trades law professionals respond in an Organized Labor exclusive. This month's expert is Kevin Osborne of the Arns Law Firm.
I just started a new project with an employer from down south. The first day on the job, the foreman said, “we don’t take breaks.” They have to give me breaks, don’t they? Also, I’m worried they’ll fire me if I complain. What should I do?
California law guarantees workers 10-minute paid rest breaks for every 4 hours of work. If an employer refuses to allow breaks, it is taking away what state lawmakers and your union fought for. The penalties for violating this law are severe. You and your co-workers may be entitled to 1 full hour of additional pay for every day the employer refuses to provide a break, plus a fine of $50-$100 per pay period, plus interest, plus attorneys’ fees … and so on. Similarly, the law in California provides serious penalties for employers who retaliate in any way against workers who call out illegal conduct, including paying any lost wages and even reinstating the worker’s employment and benefits. Don’t be afraid to contact a lawyer and enforce your rights.
-Kevin Osborne, The Arns Law Firm, San Francisco, CA
For more information on work-site accidents and
your legal options, visit the ARNS Website.
"Interaction via "Ask the Expert" does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Any advice given is neither legal advice nor does it serve as a replacement for hiring an attorney. In addition, any case results mentioned or discussed are not guarantees of similar results."
This Month's Expert; Kevin Osborne
Kevin Osborne represents workers and their families in cases involving wage and hour disputes, job site injuries, and other claims. He has recovered lost wages for workers in cases against Home Depot, Chevron, and other major corporations. Kevin represents many of the firm's Spanish-speaking clients.