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Lunch Breaks while working less than 8 hours.

On Lawyer & Legal » Employment & Labor Law

12,403 words with 31 Comments; publish: Thu, 03 Feb 2005 07:53:00 GMT; (800312.50, « »)

I currently work for the United States Postal Service in Pittsburgh, PA. I am considered a Part Time Flexable. As a general rule, I am scheduled for less than 8 hours a day and less than 40 hours a week. In the past, we were not required take a lunch, but were allowed to have two 15 minute breaks. (Usually a 6-7 hour shift.) I prefer not to take a lunch because we are required to take a 30 minute lunch off the clock, over the course of a week, this adds up to as much as 3 hours of pay. For several months we were allowed to take the two breaks and were not required to take the lunch. Management is now telling us that we HAVE to take the lunch due to a federal law. However, I am unable to locate any reference to this and therefore I am unable to agree with them or defend my position. I have a copy of the labor/management contract, both national and local, and am not able to locate anything that requires a lunch. What law, or laws cover this. Do I have to take a lunch when I do not work a full 8 hour schedule?

Thank you in advance for any assistance you may be able to provide.

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  • 31 Comments
    • I work for a fast food chain in Indiana and I was told that if you were over 18 then they do not have to give me any kind of . Whether it is a lunch break or just a regular break no matter how many hours I work. Am I entitled to some kind of break by law.
      #1; Thu, 02 Feb 2006 16:35:00 GMT
    • What state are you in? Breaks and meal periods are regulated by state law.
      #2; Thu, 10 Feb 2005 14:41:00 GMT
    • Your employer can require that you remain on the premises during the break.
      #3; Fri, 10 Jun 2005 10:59:00 GMT
    • My wife has recently started working a job where they aren't too keen on giving breaks. When they do give her 15's, they make her do it off the clock. What does Vermont law require the employer to provide a part-time employee when working 4 or more hours a day?
      #4; Thu, 08 Jun 2006 10:48:00 GMT
    • That's covered under Federal law, too. If your employer requires you to work (and, requiring the employee to stay on premises is a general test for work), and you're not either an exempt employee or subject to some other exception, then you must be paid for that time.
      #5; Thu, 25 May 2006 16:13:00 GMT
    • Well, I called the KY Dept. of Labor this morning, and found out some really discouraging news--employers are not breaking the laws if they do not offer you a break or an unpaid lunch period! However, if you ask for one and they say "No", THEN they have broken the law! And they know this full well. The person I spoke to says that a lot of managers will keep telling you they'll let you clock out for the day "shortly", "in twenty minutes", in "just a few more minutes", etc., to keep you working so you don't ask for a break, just to work around the law, but not break it! Gee, what a coincidence, I get that all the time! And their training videos all constantly emphasize, "Just be nice!" No matter how abusive they are to you, huh? How's THAT for living the Golden Rule?? :mad:
      #6; Thu, 16 Jun 2005 16:45:00 GMT
    • A cursory look at the MA labor laws did not produce any statements regarding waiver of lunch periods. You may want to check with the state or look through the law yourself. http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/gl-149-toc.htm
      #7; Sat, 28 May 2005 01:51:00 GMT
    • Are there any break laws in Maryland? Can I work 12 hours without being allowed a break?
      #8; Thu, 12 May 2005 00:21:00 GMT
    • I recently started as an hourly employee at a major fast food chain restaurant in Kentucky. I have yet to be allowed to leave at my scheduled time, but have to wait sometimes over an hour afterward with management's permission. This results in my working 6-7 hours without a lunch break, and only one ten minute break, which I have to ask for, and is sometimes far past the four hour mark. This happens even when business is slow, and there are more than enough workers to cover the shift. Isn't my employer breaking labor laws?
      #9; Wed, 15 Jun 2005 16:19:00 GMT
    • Goldenruler, sounds like they are in your state.

      This is from the Kentucky Dept of Labor- It was found here KY (http://labor.ky.gov/esat/wagehour.htm#a)

      REST PERIODS

      No employer shall require any employee to work without a rest period of at least ten (10) minutes during each four (4) hours worked except those employees who are under the Federal Railway Labor Act. This shall be in addition to the regularly scheduled lunch period. No reduction in compensation shall be made for hourly or salaried employees.

      For additional information, click on the link below.

      KRS 337.365 Rest periods

      803 KAR 1:065 Hours worked

      LUNCH PERIODS

      Employers, except those subject to the Federal Railway Labor Act, shall grant their employees a reasonable period for lunch, and such time shall be as close to the middle of the employee's scheduled work shift as possible. In no case shall an employee be required to take a lunch period sooner than three (3) hours after the work shift commences, nor more than five (5) hours from the time the work shift commences. This section shall not be construed to negate any provision of a collective bargaining agreement or mutual agreement between the employee and employer.

      For additional information on lunch periods, click on the link below.

      KRS 337.355 Lunch periods

      803 KAR 1:065 Hours worked

      #10; Wed, 15 Jun 2005 16:54:00 GMT
    • Does anyone know what the outline is for retail hourly employees and paid breaks required by law?

      I have one that lists the following:

      4 hours on clock = 15 paid break when reaches 4 hour period employer says schedule only 3.75 hours shift to not pay for a break

      Scheduled 4 hours or more = 15 minute paid break at 4 hour period and second 15 minute paid break if working full 8 hour shift

      Scheduled 8 hours plus = two 15 minute paid breaks and one 30 minute paid break

      I welcome any feedback that can be supported by law.

      #11; Thu, 10 Feb 2005 10:29:00 GMT
    • There isn't a law that says that a lunch must be provided by your employer. BUT, it is clear that employees need to follow the directives of their manager, unless that directive will cause a safety issue or is clearly illegal.

      So, in your case, your manager has said that you must take a lunch. Then, according to the concepts discussed in the first paragraph, you must take a lunch.

      #12; Thu, 03 Feb 2005 08:15:00 GMT
    • All Vermont law requires is that an employee be given reasonable opportunity to eat and use the restroom. It does not require a specific period of time for a lunch break and does not require rest breaks at all, regardless of the number of hours worked.
      #13; Thu, 08 Jun 2006 11:03:00 GMT
    • I would like to know if there are any Georgia state laws with mandate that employers provide lunch and/or other breaks for employees working 8 hours or more per day? I was unable to find anything in the Georgia code. :confused:
      #14; Wed, 07 Jun 2006 06:14:00 GMT
    • Vermont actually requires more than quite a few states; a lot don't even require the "reasonable time".

      And now, not because anyone is being disruptive or unreasonable but just because this thread has grown beyond the level at which it can be comfortably answered, I'm going to lock it and the next person with a question about breaks can start a new thread.

      #15; Thu, 08 Jun 2006 12:17:00 GMT
    • Since this post reopened, I thought I'd address an issue raised by JBrandt regarding MA law and meal breaks.

      MA law states that "No person shall be required to work for more than six hours during a calendar day without an interval of at least thirty minutes for a meal." It does not require any employee to take a meal break, except in certain regulated industries.

      One other thing, if an employee does take his break, and the employer requires him to stay on premises, or do work during that period, then the employee must be paid.

      #16; Mon, 06 Feb 2006 15:41:00 GMT
    • Hi, I am a 22 yr old male. I have a question regarding labor laws. Am I required by either Federal, or State laws to take a lunch break? I am presently employed in MA. I usually only work 7 or 8 hr shifts, and do not like to take a break, I am a college student so the more work I can cram into a shorter period and get paid for, the better. I do understand what you posted before, that I must follow the directives of my employer, but she states the reason for requiring me to take an unpaid lunch is it is a law. I have been unsucessful at locating such a law. She has said that if I were to locate the law and see if perhaps, that I can waive this lunch in writing, that I was allowed the right and passed on it, than I could continue to work without a break. Please inform me. Sincerely, JB
      #17; Wed, 25 May 2005 13:15:00 GMT
    • We have some people that come in and go to lunch 30 min after clocking in and go to lunch. Ive been at work for 7hours with no lunch with out resting. what law do we have in Texas? I have ask somebody in the department and I was told you can go to lunch at anytime....

      My past employer you work 4 hours and then go to lunch but if somebody was here before you that person would go.

      need of help

      REST PERIODS

      No employer shall require any employee to work without a rest period of at least ten (10) minutes during each four (4) hours worked except those employees who are under the Federal Railway Labor Act. This shall be in addition to the regularly scheduled lunch period. No reduction in compensation shall be made for hourly or salaried employees.

      For additional information, click on the link below.

      KRS 337.365 Rest periods

      803 KAR 1:065 Hours worked

      LUNCH PERIODS

      Employers, except those subject to the Federal Railway Labor Act, shall grant their employees a reasonable period for lunch, and such time shall be as close to the middle of the employee's scheduled work shift as possible. In no case shall an employee be required to take a lunch period sooner than three (3) hours after the work shift commences, nor more than five (5) hours from the time the work shift commences. This section shall not be construed to negate any provision of a collective bargaining agreement or mutual agreement between the employee and employer.

      For additional information on lunch periods, click on the link below.

      KRS 337.355 Lunch periods

      803 KAR 1:065 Hours worked[/QUOTE]

      #18; Wed, 31 Aug 2005 19:45:00 GMT
    • Maryland does not require breaks or meal periods for adult employees in the private section.
      #19; Thu, 12 May 2005 07:21:00 GMT
    • That's because Georgia has no laws regarding this issue. And since federal law does not require rest breaks or meal periods either, the employer does not have to provide them.
      #20; Wed, 07 Jun 2006 12:55:00 GMT
    • Wow...great job of stacking odds in the employers favor, Vermont! Thanks for the replies, they are greatly appreciated.
      #21; Thu, 08 Jun 2006 12:14:00 GMT
    • Federal law and Ohio law does not require that employers provide any rest or meal period.

      However, federal law does say that if a break is given and it is less than 20 minutes in length, then the employer may not dock time for that break. You can read more about the federal rule at: http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/whdfs22.htm

      #22; Fri, 11 Feb 2005 14:58:00 GMT
    • L. Connell

      I am in the state of Ohio

      Thank you for any information you can relay regarding this subject.

      #23; Fri, 11 Feb 2005 11:39:00 GMT
    • Yes. Kentucky law requires a 10 minute break every four hours, and a reasonable (unspecified) time for a meal break between the third and fifth hour of work.

      You can complain to the KY DOL.

      #24; Wed, 15 Jun 2005 16:49:00 GMT
    • Thought so! Thanks to both of you! :)
      #25; Wed, 15 Jun 2005 17:14:00 GMT
    • Is there a law (either NYS or federal) that prohibits one from leaving their employer's location during a paid break? My company is saying that I am entitled to a 15-minute break for a 4 hour shift but that I may not leave the building. I was also told that this is an insurance issue...
      #26; Fri, 10 Jun 2005 10:55:00 GMT
    • "One other thing, if an employee does take his break, and the employer requires him to stay on premises, or do work during that period, then the employee must be paid."

      Is this federal or MA state law? Is there any similar legislation that would apply for NC employees?

      #27; Thu, 25 May 2006 14:40:00 GMT
    • It is true that Indiana law does not require meal breaks or rest breaks for workers 18 years of age or older.
      #28; Fri, 03 Feb 2006 05:35:00 GMT
    • Although this was no the answer I was looking for, I will comply.

      Thank you again for your assistance.

      #29; Thu, 03 Feb 2005 08:40:00 GMT
    • So, why don't we just start a chart that can be accessed directly (without individual posts) so we don't have to answer these questions for every state every month? Maybe the same for vacation pay at termination, and when do I have to get my final check, am I entitled to accrued vacation at termination, etc. Seems like we are answering the same questions over and over and over again :rolleyes:
      #30; Thu, 01 Sep 2005 06:15:00 GMT
    • However, federal regulations do state that breaks under 20 minutes in duration must be paid.

      http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Title_29/Part_785/29CFR785.18.htm

      #31; Thu, 08 Jun 2006 11:37:00 GMT