Unless you have an express agreement to the contrary, you are an at will employee. As an at will employee your employer can change the terms and conditions of your employment at any time and for any lawful reason. That means the employer can decide to not pay you for your lunch. There is no theory that would allow you as an at will employee to force the employer to pay for your lunch break.
As to the overtime, I think you would have a difficult time proving the right to overtime if, when you subtract the hour of time you were paid for lunch, the overall work you performed was less than eight hours.
Good luck to you.
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Employers are not required to pay employees for their lunch breaks, unless the employee is not permitted to have an uninterrupted break from work for at least 30 minutes. But if the pay is gratuitous, the employer has the right to stop this benefit at any time. Overtime is a completely separate issue. Employers must pay non-exempt employees overtime premiums for all hours worked in excess of 8 in a workday and 40 in a workweek. Legally speaking, the employer would not be able to offset any unpaid overtime due because it generously paid for your lunch break. But sometimes, you have to look at the bigger picture. You will have to decide whether the amount the employer may owe is worth the probability of alienating the people you work for due to its ending a fringe benefit.
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Assuming you are an at will employee, your employer can change your pay on a prospective or going forward basis.
Your employer is not obligated to pay for your lunch and can stop at anytime. Further, if your employer does not provide a thirty minute uninterrupted meal break and you are a non-exempt employee, then you would be entitled to one (1) hour of pay as a penalty.
Finally, as for the overtime, if you work more than eight (8) hours per day or over forty (40) hours per week, you would be entitled to overtime. I agree with my collegues that you should consider that an overtime claim may sour your relationship with your employer for a relatively small benefit, especially an employer that has been particulatly generous. The statute of limitations would be four (4) years and you may wish to wait until after you leave to pursue such as claim.
If you are an at will employee, the employer may change the terms of your employment at any time. The amount due to you for overtime is a separate thing. Has he refused to pay the amount owed to you for overtime?
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Absent a contract between your employer and yourself which states that you are entitled to paid lunch breaks it is most likely a lawful action made by your employer made as a necessary business decision. Unless you are forced to work through your lunch breaks and the payment was made as a way of compensating you for your missed breaks (a situation to which you must have consented consented) the action is likely lawful and you will not have a valid claim for lost wages or unpaid meal breaks.
Employment law for businesses Business contracts Business Employment Employee wages Employee wages and overtime pay Overtime and non-exempt employees Employment forms Employment contracts Employee break laws and work hours Types of employment At-will employment Employee contract for businesses