Auto-Deducting Breaks

Charles R. Bridgers : August 24, 2012 8:18 am

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record-keeping and youth employment standards for workers in the private sector and government.  Covered non-exempt workers are entitled to overtime pay of at least 1.5 times regular pay if they work more than 40 hours per week.

Auto Deducting Lunch and Other Breaks.

Many employers track employee work time through the use of computerized systems.  Some employers program their computers to deduct a one hour lunch period each day, whether or not the employee actually takes a lunch break of that duration or any lunch break at all.  If you are not actually relieved from duty during an auto-deducted lunch break, the auto- deducted time should be added back in in order to determine if you have cleared the forty hour weekly overtime threshold.  If the employee is never allowed to take a lunch break and the time is nevertheless auto-deducted, the employer may face substantial exposure for backpay, liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees.

Reality trumps under the FLSA. If you work through a break, you must be paid for it.

If you are an employer or an employee and have questions about the Fair Labor Standards Act, call the FLSA experts at DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick, & Benjamin, LLC, Charles Bridgers and Kevin Fitzpatrick, at (404) 979-3150 for a free consultation.  For more information, check out our publication,  Are You Entitled to Overtime Pay?

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