Know your rights under SB1334
Last year, after campaigning and lobbying from SEIU 1021 nurses, the California legislature passed SB1334, which took effect on January 1, 2023. This bill is intended to help ensure that healthcare workers in public sector workplaces receive adequate meal and rest breaks during their shifts.
SB 1334 covers any employee of a public entity in California who provides direct patient care or supports direct patient care in an acute care hospital, clinic, or public health setting. There are existing meal and rest break protections that cover private sector workers but historically public sector workers have been excluded. This law addresses that inequity in healthcare so that now RNs and other healthcare workers in public health settings like SEIU 1021 members at the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Alameda Health System, San Joaquin General Hospital, and more have the same protections for meal and rest breaks as similar workers employed by Kaiser and Sutter.
The bill provides:
- One unpaid 30-minute meal period during shifts that are over five hours in length.
- A second unpaid 30-minute meal period during shifts that are over 10 hours in length.
- An additional paid rest period of at least 10 minutes for every four hours of work.
Meal and rest breaks are already in our MOUs, but there are often no consequence for the employer when we don’t get them. This new law requires employers that fail to provide us with a meal or rest break to pay one additional hour of pay per missed meal or rest break in addition to pay for hours worked and any applicable overtime. The additional pay we are now entitled to for missing breaks under SB1334 will also create an incentive for our employers to prioritize safe staffing by staffing for adequate break coverage.
Getting this law passed was possible because of the political power we have built through our Committee on Political Education (COPE). You can help us build that power by clicking here and signing up to become a regular COPE donor.