Avoiding California Meal Time Violations

Adhering to California meal time rules can be challenging for any company. Timesheets.com has a workaround that could help your company avoid costly penalties by alerting employees that they are approaching a 5-hour limit before a meal time violation occurs.

In order to set this up, there are two settings that must be adjusted. One of them is located in the user settings of the manager’s account. The other is in the employee’s account. Together, they work to prevent the meal time violation. Here’s how to set it up.

  1. Log into the manager’s account, and click on the Dashboard.
  2. Locate an employee subject to the mealtime rule and click the gear wheel gear icon to the left of their name.
  3. Navigate to the Profile tab and then select the Overtime Controls menu item. In this section, you can set the start and end times for the employee’s shift. This is typically used for tardy tracking or to prevent early clock-ins, but you can also use the shift settings for duration tracking for situations where you need to track work time before meal breaks.
  4. Enter a time gap of about 4 hours and 45 minutes as shown below. The start and end times are not important to this process if you’re only using the feature to avoid the meal time violation. What is important is the duration, which should be just under 5 hours. You can adjust the specific duration to suit your needs.

Next, the employee will need to adjust their account settings.

  1. Log into the employee’s account with the help of the employee.
  2. Click the gear wheel gear icon in the upper-right corner and select My Account.
  3. Next, click the link to the My Account Settings page.
  4. Scroll down and find the setting to enter an SMS phone number. Enter the employee’s number.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the setting that notifies the employee when they have worked longer than their shift, and select the SMS notification option.

Together, these settings will work to notify employees that a meal time violation is coming and that they should take their lunch break immediately.

If you believe meal time violations have occurred, there are several ways to run a customized report to identify timestamps greater than 5 hours in duration. Please contact us for assistance to help find the best report for this task depending on your company’s needs.

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