Aryeh Leichter, the Los Angeles employment law attorney at the Leichter Law Firm, APC, knows California labor laws have stringent meal and rest break requirements to protect employees’ well-being, including residential apartment managers throughout the state.

Given their unique working conditions, meal and rest breaks are especially critical for residential apartment managers. Here, we discuss the requirements and what these unique employees can do if their workplace rights are violated.

Residential Apartment Manager Meal and Rest Break Requirements

Meal & Rest Break Requirements for Residential Apartment Managers in California

A California residential apartment manager’s duties differ significantly from those of other employees due to the unique nature of their role, which often includes living on-site and being on-call for tenant needs and emergencies outside regular working hours.

Unlike typical employees who have defined work shifts, apartment managers must manage property-related issues, such as maintenance requests, tenant complaints, rent collection, and showing vacant units, often requiring a flexible and unpredictable schedule.

This constant availability can blur the lines between work and personal time, making it challenging to take uninterrupted meals and rest breaks. However, that does not change the legal requirements they are afforded.

For meal breaks, that includes:

Duration and Timing

  • 5-Hour Rule: Residential apartment managers must receive a 30-minute unpaid meal break if they work more than five hours daily.
  • 10-Hour Rule: They are entitled to a second 30-minute meal break if they work more than ten hours.
  • Waivers: The first meal break can be waived if the workday is no longer than six hours, and the second meal break can be waived if the workday does not exceed 12 hours and the first meal break was taken.

Uninterrupted Breaks

Managers must be relieved of all duties during meal breaks and should be allowed to leave the premises.

  • On-Duty Meal Periods: These are only permitted if the nature of the work prevents the employee from being relieved of all duties and there is a written agreement that the employee can revoke at any time.

For rest breaks, that includes:

Duration and Timing

  • Four-Hour Rule: Managers are entitled to a 10-minute paid rest break for every four hours worked or a significant fraction thereof. Rest breaks should ideally be taken during each four-hour work period.

Uninterrupted Breaks

Rest breaks must be free from all duties, and managers should not be required to remain on the premises.

What are the Legal Penalties for California Residential Apartment Manager Meal & Rest Break Violations?

If an employer fails to provide a required meal break, the manager is entitled to one additional hour of pay at their regular rate for each workday for which the meal break is not provided.

Similarly, failure to provide a rest break entitles the manager to one additional hour of pay at their regular rate for each workday, for which the rest break is not provided.

Have Your Meal and Rest Break Rights Been Violated as a Residential Apartment Manager in California?

If you are a California residential apartment manager whose workplace rights have been violated in any way, contact Aryeh Leichter, the Leichter Law Firm, APC founder, and employment law attorney in Los Angeles County, today to discuss the legal remedies that may be available for your unique workplace circumstances, starting with a free consultation by calling (818)-915-6624 or contacting the firm online.

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