UC Health Teamsters: Know Your Breaks & Lunch Rights!

Effective January 1 of this year, our rest and meal breaks as UC healthcare workers are now guaranteed by a new California law, SB 1334. SB 1334, which was sponsored by Teamsters in the legislature last year, ensures the same protections for us as for private sector healthcare workers.

Our Union wants to make sure every UC Teamster has the information we need to enforce our rights in the workplace. Read our Frequently Asked Questions about SB 1334 at the link, or a few of the most commonly-asked questions included below, and always be sure to contact your Union Rep if you have any questions about your rights at work.

“How many rest breaks do I get?”

Workers are entitled to a paid 15-minute paid rest period for every 4 hours “or major fraction thereof” worked. Workers who work less than 3.5 hours in a day are not entitled to a rest break.

“How many meal breaks do I get?”

Non-exempt employees who provide or support direct patient care in the hospital, clinic, or public health setting will be provided an unpaid, uninterrupted 30-minute meal period for shifts of five and up to ten hours. For shifts that exceed ten hours, a second unpaid, uninterrupted 30- minute meal period will be provided. This is a total of two uninterrupted 30-minute meal periods during the shift for employees who work over 10+ hours. Uninterrupted or “Duty free” means you were relieved of all work duties during your break or meal period. If you were not relieved of all duty during your meal period it should be counted as time worked in addition to penalty pay.

“What should I do if I miss a break?”

If you are unable to take your meal or rest period due to an operational requirement or constraint, you should immediately notify your manager as soon as practicable to allow management to offer a meal or rest break. Under the University’s policy, workers must notify supervisors for missed meal and rest breaks before the end of the pay period.

“What is penalty pay and how much do I receive for missing a break?”

If the University does not provide an employee with a meal or rest period in accordance with SB 1334, it is required to pay a penalty of one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each workday that the meal or rest break is not provided. This penalty is not counted as time worked for overtime purposes. An employee is entitled to one meal period penalty for each workday that one or more meal periods are not provided, and one missed break penalty for each workday that one or more rest breaks are not provided.