California employers beware: the state Attorney General is enforcing meal breaks and overtime laws. This week, an Orange County drywall contractor agreed to pay $1.4 million in damages to employees who did not receive their legally required meal breaks or who did not recieve overtime. To read the settlement in the case, California v. Interwall Dev. Sys. Inc., click here. To read the Attorney General’s press release, click here.
The defendant also agreed to pay the state up to $131,000 in payroll taxes it should have paid if it had adequately compensated its employees, civil fines totaling $200,000, $70,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs, and $26,000 to cover the cost of a "restitution administrator." Ouch.
So remember: under California law, employees are entitled to a ten-minute break every four hours and to overtime pay for working more than eight hours per day or forty hours per week. If you don’t follow the law, you might get a visit from the Governator.