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Unpaid lunch break in MASS.

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  • Unpaid lunch break in MASS.

    Quick question. I have been hired full time (40 hours), but my lunch break is unpaid. At the end of the week, after working 5 days 9 to 5, i get paid for 37.5 hours. If I decide NOT to leave premises, does my employer HAVE to pay for that half an hour? unpaid hours reflect on my pacheck, especially if I work overtime (less paid overtime...)
    Thanks.

  • #2
    If you are not actually working (inferring from your post that you are an hourlypaid/nonexempt employee), you don't have to be paid at all. The fact that YOU choose to stay on the premises does not require them to pay you for sitting there having your meal break.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      can I choose to NOT take a lunch break and work 8 hourse a day? or is it up to them?

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      • #4
        The employer is required by law to provide meal breaks. Whether or not it is legal for the employee and employer to agree to waive the meal break is irrelevant if the employer decides that you shall take a meal period.
        http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/149-100.htm

        See, here's the thing. It doesn't matter whether the law requires the meal period or not. If the employer mandates that you take a meal period, you take it. It's the employer's legal perogative to set work hours, and that includes taking meal breaks.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          If the employer requires the employee remain on premises during her break, then she must be compensated.

          An employee must be permitted to leave the work-site, relieved of all work during the break for the break to properly qualify as an unpaid break.

          Patty's right on. The standard is one of "permission". If the employee decides to stick around, then that's her decision, and will not change the employer's obligation to pay.
          This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

          This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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