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Lunch Break Mandatory in NM?

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  • Lunch Break Mandatory in NM?

    Hello, I am enquiring if lunch breaks are mandatory in the state of New Mexico.

    Currently I work around 80 hours (not more). My employer is asking that I take a 30 minute lunch break everday so that they will not get in trouble.

    I was told that you are required to have 2 15 minute breaks or a 30 minute lunch break (which I do not want to have to take)

    I have looked up this information on a few websites
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/programs/whd/state/meal.htm
    New Mexico. A provision applicable to females and administratively extended to men does not require a meal period, but provides that when a meal period is granted (in industrial, mercantile and certain service industries), it must be at least hour, not counted as time worked.
    and the NM Department of Labor
    http://www.dol.state.nm.us/dol_qlid.html
    Q. Does an employer have to give lunch breaks, coffee breaks or rest periods?

    A. No. There is no statute that requires an employer to provide such breaks; however, deductions cannot be made from wages if less than 30 minutes is allowed for the breaks.
    and the answer seems to be that I do not have to take a 30 minute lunch break if I do not want to.

    is this correct?

  • #2
    No, you are not correct. The law says that the employer is not required to offer you a lunch break. However, the employer, not you, decides what your work hours are, and if your employer says you have to take a lunch break, you have to take a lunch break.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      No, that is an incorrect interpretation. If the law does not require breaks or meal periods, you still must take them if the employer instructs you to. All the law says is whether or not the employer MUST provide them by law. If the law does not require them, then the employer makes the choice.
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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      • #4
        The reason I was asked to was because the employer was trying to avoid getting in trouble.

        Whether or not they were going to be made mandatory for me was based on if I could find proof saying that the employer is in the clear if I do not want to take a lunch break.

        They are not enforcing it as company policy.

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        • #5
          In NM it is up to the employer whether you are offered any breaks or not.

          BTW, NO state requires that you be given 2 15 minute breaks per day. A VERY small handful of states require 10 minutes per day; NM is not one of them.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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          • #6
            Ah, sorry, I misunderstood you. If they agree to not have you take a lunch break, and since the law does not require it of males (boy, that's an outdated concept), then they would not "get in trouble". It would be considered work time however. It might be a good idea to inquire of the state DOL by phone, though, since what they mean by "administratively extended to men" is not clear to me.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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