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When is a meal period counted as a work time?

Posted on March 11, 2015 9:32 am under Overtime Law and Minimum Wage Violations

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are not required to pay their employees for a meal break if the meal period is at least 30 minutes long, and the employee is completely relieved from his or her duties. Workers who are relieved from his or her tasks but are expected to remain available in the premises for the break’s duration are also not expected to have paid meal periods.

Under certain circumstances, however, meal periods can be counted as paid work time. Pursuant to the FLSA, meal periods with these qualities should be counted as a work time and should be compensated appropriately:

  • Meal periods shorter than 30 minutes
  • Meal periods where workers perform duties (e.g. a person monitoring a medical device while eating is working through lunch)

Unfortunately, some employers fail to compensate their workers properly for lunch breaks that should have been paid for. To learn whether your employer violated Wisconsin’s lunch break rules, consult with a lawyer at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® by calling (414) 271-0900 today.