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Meal Waiver Best Practices

Taking a Closer Look at California Meal Periods

Summary

The California Labor Code guarantees employees a 30-minute meal period according to length of shift and type of work. However, in certain instances, employees can choose to skip mandated meal periods with the mutual consent of both the employee and the employer. Because California does not specifically interpret "mutual consent," many organizations employ meal waivers to document a worker's choice to skip a meal break without the organization being legally penalized. This can create administrative challenges for the organization, including finding efficient ways to manage waiver paperwork and ensuring an employee's time and payroll calculations accurately reflect their meal waiver status. A timekeeping system that allows employees to easily change their waiver status, records their changes, and automatically updates their time and pay will significantly streamline meal waiver administration with simplicity, flexibility and trackability.

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