After 17 years of working for a dairy in Stanislaus County, Antonio decided to file a claim for his missed meal and rest breaks.
Because of the nature of dairy work, it was difficult for Antonio to even get one 15 minute break throughout the day and it required that one of the other two employees at the dairy could cover for him. Any short break he took was often interrupted. While dairy workers on small farms are exempt from the typical overtime laws in California, Antonio was still entitled to his breaks.
The Center for Workers’ Rights was able to help Antonio prepare for his hearing at the Labor Commissioner’s Office and negotiate a settlement the morning of the hearing, which allowed him to be paid promptly by his former employer for the violations. Antonio’s persistence to be compensated for the breaks he missed over many years, is just one step in improving conditions for dairy workers throughout the state. When one worker wins back their dignity it paves the way for others to follow in their example.