Cambridge, MD asked in Employment Law for Maryland

Q: I work for private doctor's office. Can they make an employee use vacation time for a lunch time that you do not get

paid for when you work, when you are on vacation?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenesha A Raeford
Kenesha A Raeford

A: If you have an employment contract that will be the first place you will want to look for the answer. In Maryland, employers are not required to give you a lunch break unless you a minor (under 18 years of age). Maryland employers are also not required to issue you benefits like paid or unpaid vacation time. Accordingly, the terms or the specifications of how that vacation time is issued or used is at the discretion of the employer. The employer may have internal policies that dictate how the use of vacation time will be handled, but they may not be legally bound by those policies. Since you are in the healthcare industry, there could also be some regulations and requirements regarding the use of vacation time, but you would want to discuss those matters with an attorney who regularly practices healthcare law. Additionally, if you are in a union, there may be a union agreement in place that dictates how vacation time should be dealt. If you are worried about the use of paid vacation time for your lunch hour, it may be as simple as having a conversation with your employer to let them know you are willing to do an unpaid lunch hour. While you won't be paid for the time you spend out on lunch, you will, at the very least be able to preserve your vacation time for more important matters, like an actual vacation!

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