What to do if I wasn’t given my breaks and worked alone as a minor?

UPDATED: Jul 27, 2011

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What to do if I wasn’t given my breaks and worked alone as a minor?

I have been working at a pretzel shop for 1 year and 3 months. l turned 17 2 1/2 months ago. I have closed the store alone but lately more. I wasn’t being given my breaks. I had to close alone and touch a dough bowl I am not allowed to because I am under age but my manager knew that and didn’t do anything about it. I called the company and told them the problem and all the said is that they would call my manger and have her give me my breaks. But my aunt told me its illegal to not get my breaks and for a minor to close alone. I want to know what legal action I can take from this?

Asked on July 27, 2011 California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under most state and federal laws, employees are entitled to 10 minute breaks for every 4 hours worth of work given every 2 hours. Likewise, there are requirements for a lunch break as well. The 10 minute breaks are part of your compensation.

If you have not received payment for such, then you need to go down to your local labor department to speak with someone about your situation. It seems that your employer is taking advantage of you. You are under the age of 18, a minor.

You might consider speaking with a labor law attorney as well about your work situation and what has happened in the past in order to prevent the apparent labor violations in the future.

Good luck.

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