Dispelling the 10 Biggest Wage and Hour Myths: Part III

Wage and Hour Myth #3 is a big potential pitfall for employers.  Many employers provide unpaid lunch breaks for their employees.  Sometimes conscientious employees will eat lunch at their desk to catch up on work.  Other times, an employee in the lunch room will be called out to assist with a work issue or handle a telephone call.  Are you paying these employees for the work they do during their lunch period?

3.  Employees who perform work during their unpaid lunch do not have to be paid.  NO! NO! NO!  In order for a lunch/meal break to be unpaid, the break must be at least 20 minutes or more and the employee must be “completely relieved” of all work during the break.  Any work performed by the employee during an “unpaid” lunch break transforms the break into a paid break.  This is true even if the employee performs the work “voluntarily” or “without authorization.”

 Check back on Monday for Wage and Hour Myth #4.  We hope you have a great weekend!