Automatic Lunch Deductions
Employers often violate overtime laws when they automatically deduct 30-60 minutes for an employee's lunch period. In this day and age, many employees either take a quick lunch or skip lunch altogether. If an employee works during lunch, they must be paid.
What the Feds say about lunchThe federal government states that when employees are on lunch, they must be able to spend that time doing what they want. An employee should not be conducting work activities during lunch. An employer should not ask an employee to work through lunch if the employee has clocked out. Lunch is time for the employee to do what he or she wants, not what the employer wants.
Automatic DeductionsSome employers do not ask their employees to clock out during lunch. Instead, those employers automatically deduct either 30 minutes or an hour from each day. Those employers say they are taking the time away because the employee was in lunch. However, many times the employee works through lunch. Remember, if you work, you must be paid. So automatically deducting 30-60 minutes for lunch allows employers to cheat employees out of their money.
What can be done?Contact my office if you believe your employer has automatically deducted 30-60 minutes for your lunch. If you worked during lunch, you probably have a claim for unpaid overtime. You should know that the laws allow you to look back 3 years and there is no requirement that you are still working for that employer.