The Department of Industrial Relations in the state of California requires that employers grant employees one or more breaks throughout the day based on the amount of time an individual works. The state also dictates what employees can and cannot do during meal breaks.
On July 21, 2014, a judge in California granted class-action status to a lawsuit against Apple initially filed by four employees in 2011 alleging that the company failed to provide timely meal and rest breaks. According to the suit, Apple also failed to provide final paychecks on time in accordance with state law. The suit further says that the employees were forced to work up to five hours without a break.
Fast-food workers in Los Angeles and 59 other cities are on strike. The workers are employed by various chains, including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Taco Bell. They are demanding that they get higher wages. The latest strike is part of a year-long campaign orchestrated by the workers to ask for more than wage and hour laws entitle them to.
California employers who don't pay their workers what's required under federal labor law risk embarrassment. This is due to a Department of Labor contest challenging the public to develop an innovative data-sharing tool. The smartphone app would identify employers who are believed to be violating wage laws like those for overtime, minimum wage, employment of minors and working with contractors.