Q: Can my boss take out break time?
My job lets us take an unpaid 30 minute lunch break everyday. Sometimes, we are so busy that we work right through the break and do not have a chance to take this break, which includes working the entire shift. Can my boss legally still take this 30 minutes off my paycheck every shift even when I do not actually take a break everyday? I am hourly, not salary.
Generally, under federal and state wage and hour laws your employer is not required to compensate you for bona fide meal periods lasting 20 minutes or more. However, if you work during your meal break the meal break is no longer bona fide.
You should call an employment attorney to discuss your situation and whether the automatically deducted (but worked) time is unpaid overtime or minimum wages that require compensation.
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