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Can an Employer “Force” its Employees to Clock Out for a Lunch Break?

/cdklawyers.com// 08/22/2010

An employee subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act may wish to “work through lunch” so the employee can leave the workplace earlier.  But an employer can require an employee to take an unpaid lunch break, provided the employer completely relieves the employee of any work-related duties during that break time.

The FLSA does not require an employer to provide an employee with a meal period, and an employer is generally free to set an employee’s work schedule, including breaks.  This means that an employer could require an employee to report for work at 7:30 a.m., take an hour-long break between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and then work until 4:30 p.m.  An employer may have bona fide business reasons for expecting an employee to arrive and leave at set times, such as ensuring that the workplace is adequately staffed at the beginning and closing of the business day.  Scheduling midday breaks can help an employer meet these business needs and may lead to increased employee productivity. 

To speak to an attorney about the FLSA or a work-related legal issue, contact the labor and employment lawyers at the Dallas employment law firm of Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP at [email protected]

 

Press Release Contact Information:

KEITH A. CLOUSE

Clouse Dunn
Khoshbin LLP

214.220.2722
214.220.3833 ( fax)
[email protected]

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