I'm reflecting on my experiences from many years ago, when I worked in a restaurant in California. A common shift would have me clock in at 11am, work until 640pm, then punch out for two consecutive 10 minute breaks followed by a 30 minute break. I would then punch out and go home at 730. This was pretty exhausting, and it was very annoying that I was just sitting around the restaurant for an extra hour at the end of my shift, instead of going home. I would be paid 8 hours (no OT), even though I had to stay at the restaurant for 8.5 consecutive hours.
My question then is, was this legal? I understand that for an 8 hour shift I am owed those breaks, and that any time over 8 hours in one day is considered overtime. It was explained to me that because the half-hour break is unpaid, it doesn't factor into overtime calculations in any way. Is that correct?
Edit: I should clarify that I was paid for the two 10-minute breaks. They had a system where you had to tell the computer system that you were going on your (ten minute or half hour) break, and we the crew just called that clocking out, but we were still paid for those tens.