Dispelling the 10 Biggest Wage and Hour Myths: Part X

Wage and Hour Myth #10

We require our employees to “clock out” for all breaks and therefore all breaks are unpaid.  According to FLSA regulations, only breaks of 20 minutes or more can be unpaid.  Consequently, any breaks of less than 20 minutes must be paid.  It does not matter if the employer has required the employee to “clock out” for the duration of the break.  If the break was for less than 20 minutes, the employee must be paid for the time (even though his or her time card indicates no work during that time period).  This “unpaid” break issue has created significant liability for employers throughout the country.  Do not make the same mistake.  Breaks can be treated as unpaid only if they are in at least 20 minutes in length and no work was performed during the break!