Meal Breaks | Are Employees Entitled To Lunch Or Coffee Breaks?
If you are working for an employer who doesn’t offer meal breaks, it is only natural to wonder whether they violate your rights. If your employer is violating your rights, contact overtime lawyer, Travis Hedgpeth, today for a free case evaluation.
Under federal law, employers have no legal requirement to provide their workers with lunch or coffee breaks.
On a state level, though, things may be different. Some states like California, New York, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, and Minnesota require meal breaks for employees.
While many states don’t have meal break laws, businesses usually offer short breaks to boost employee morale and productivity. In such a scenario, federal law requires that the meal breaks be part of paid time.
If your rights are violated by an employer, contact Travis Hedgpeth for a free consultation today!
Compensable Meal Breaks
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) considers short lunch or coffee breaks lasting about 5 to 20 minutes worth compensation.
Any meal period lasting at least 30 minutes is called a bona fide meal period, and it is not compensable. However, if an employee must work through meal breaks, the employer must include break time in hours worked when determining weekly wages and overtime pay.
Unpaid meal breaks are one of the common forms of work off the clock, which is illegal. Workers can claim back pay.
Who Can Claim Unpaid Meal Breaks?
Only non-exempt employees can claim unpaid meal breaks. If your weekly wage is under $684, you may claim to recover your unpaid wages. But before that, make sure you are not an executive, administrative, or highly compensated employee.
The FLSA also does not cover:
· Skilled computer employees like software engineers and programmers
· Professional employees like lawyers, doctors, engineers, and accountants.
· Outside sales representatives
Need professional help? Talk to an experienced overtime attorney
If you have a question or believe your employer illegally owes you money in unpaid lunch or coffee breaks, contact the Hedgpeth Law Firm, PC, to learn more about your rights. Call (281) 572-0727 to request a free case evaluation.