The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is the law that governs employee’s pay including minimum wage and overtime. One question that frequently arises is whether under the FLSA, an employee is entitled to meal or rest breaks and the answer is “no.” However, employers typically offer these breaks to its employees and the FLSA governs whether and how the time spent on these breaks is considered work time.
Short breaks of less than 20 minutes are compensable and count as work time towards calculating pay. Additionally, federal law states that while longer breaks are not counted towards overtime, the breaks must be a “bona fide” break. This means that the employee must be completely relieved from their job duties. They cannot speak to customers, answer the phone, use their computer for work purpose, meet with co-workers about work, etc. If an employee continues to work during their break then the time must be counted towards overtime.
If you are working through your breaks, contact us for an immediate, free consultation.