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California labor laws for mobile groomers?

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  • California labor laws for mobile groomers?

    I'm currently a commissioned mobile groomer in Cali. I can't really find a clear labor law relating to my question so I thought I'd ask here. Do meal/rest breaks still apply to my job? My boss basically said unless I'm running early I don't get breaks. He prefers if I'm runnning early to just go to the next appointment. He also got mad when I took a 20 min lunch and told me I should just bring snacks to eat while driving. I haven't taken a lunch or short break since and I work 8+ hours each shift. Just wondering if I am exempt from these labor laws due to the nature of my job.

  • #2
    Is the boss allowing you time to take a pee?

    I was told some years ago that the government mandates specific break times depending on time worked per hours. That you are required to have at least a 20 minute lunch break during the course of an eight hour work day.


    • #3
      If you are his employee, it doesn't matter if you are commission or not, the same labor laws apply. I'm not sure about Independent Contractors, but in a mobile situation it would basically be you renting the van from him, and he wouldn't be making those situations since you would set your own hours.

      I found a link that says you are entitled to a 30 minute break if you work 5 hours or more.


      • #4

        Your boss is crazy. Anyone that believes you can keep working without taking a break or eating lunch is insane. He should also know that everyone works better when having proper nutrition and some downtime to catch your breath.

        As an employer, you are required to give 2 15 minute breaks during an 8 hr day and a 30 minute lunch that you don't have to pay for (we do).

        If you are an IC, then you just do the work -- he can't tell you when what or how otherwise you are an employee.

        Maybe time for a new job ... most people won't change when you bring these things up. They will just make your life miserable until they get what they want.


        • #5
          I'm not an IC. I'm leaving to work at a summer camp May 1st thru mid August. I haven't told my boss but I will give him 3 weeks notice. Its to the point that I am physically exhausted half way through the day and when I stop to pee I usually grab some **** from the gas station and down a 5 hour energy (invested in a case from costco). I have had to pull off the road and recover because there have been times I was physically exhausted and dozing off while driving.

          Now i only get 2 days a week so I guess I can't complain any more about being over worked but I'm kind of forced to find a 2nd job til May.


          • #6
            The way your boss sounds, I'd look at it as a blessing. Definitely illegal.
            There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.


            • #7
              Nope..Federal law doesn't mandate rest or meal breaks and not all states do so check your states labor laws.


              • #8

                I would believe the laws apply in CA. But even if no laws this is appalling that an employer would treat you that way. Indeed even if for the bosses selfish reasons letting you take off for a lunch break would benefit you, your service and pleasant attitude. Is there set hours to quit? If you do the same amount who cares if you took lunch anyway. You might not have that job waiting when you come back and that sounds like a good thing IMO. Terrible situation.
                Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


                • #9
                  I have not been an employer in CA for several years now, but we were, and I was employed in CA for decades too, and employees got 10 minute breaks twice a day and minimum 30 minute lunch in a typicall workday. As I remember the lunch did not have to be paid lunch time, but the breaks were definitely paid time. You could not deny these breaks.

                  Call the Employment Development Dept or free legal aid even. They have the answers for the most current employment law.
                  Most questions regarding GroomerTALK are answered in the Board Help Talk Forum. Thanks for coming to our community a part of


                  • #10
                    You are required

                    to give an employee a 30 min (unpaid) luch break and 2 -10 minute paid breaks during an 8 hour shift. I believe that is under federal Labor laws, applicable to any state. It has been that way in ANY state that I have been in.

                    When I was a manager at a Petsmart, I had to make sure my crew checked out and LEFT the grooming dept, no matter if they were running behind or not! Upper managment was adament about the lunches and break times.

                    Call your local labor board (Dept of Labor and Industries, etc), they can give your the particulars for your local area. How you are paid (commission, hourly, salery) doesn't matter. If you are an employee, and work a full 8 hours as required by your employer, then you get the lunch and 2 breaks.

                    If you are an IC, then it doesn't matter, as you set your own hours, and it's your option to take a break or not.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by azoci View Post
                      to give an employee a 30 min (unpaid) luch break and 2 -10 minute paid breaks during an 8 hour shift. I believe that is under federal Labor laws, applicable to any state. It has been that way in ANY state that I have been in.
                      There is no federal law that mandates meals or breaks. Each state defines their own. Companies can make their own policy, which is self-regulated, as long as it allows the minimum requirements of the state. Not all states regulate meals or breaks.


                      • #12
                        My advice

                        Your boss is a nut. If you're tired and hungry the pets experience is going to be affected. And your driving. Take your breaks. Don't tell him. If he fires you apply for unemployment and let the state figure it out. You don't want to work for him anyways.