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Working through lunch, but not being compensated

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  • Working through lunch, but not being compensated

    I am an MRI technologist. I am scheduled to work for 8.5 hours each day. .5 hours is unpaid. This is my "lunch break". I'm at work for 8.5 hours, but I only get paid for 8. It is understood that I am allowed a 30 minute break. It's a fair system assuming I actually get to take a 30 minute break.

    On many days, however, I am not permitted to actually take this break.

    I have 2 questions:

    1. If I am not permitted to take the 30 minute break, is my employer legally obligated to pay me for it?

    2. It is my understanding that there are no laws requiring employees to get any type of breaks in MS. Is that really true? If it's not, then why would any employer allow employees to take breaks of any kind... especially paid ones?

  • #2
    1.) Assuming that you are non-exempt, yes, if you work through the break you have to be paid for it. (If you are exempt, they never have to pay you more than your regular salary no matter what or how many hours you work.)

    2.) Yes, it is true. Some employers will offer breaks because they know that in the long run it is better for them (a rested employee is a better-working employee); some employers offer them because some employers want to provide good working conditions for their employees (contrary to what some people believe, not all employers are heartless *******s looking to screw their employees); some employers may even offer breaks because they want to keep the hours for the week under 40. There are all kinds of reasons they may offer breaks when not forced to. Federal law says that IF breaks are offered, breaks of less than 20 minutes must be paid.
    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.


    • #3
      lunch break

      I had the same thing happen to me. I worked for a company and they docted me an hour everyday even if I worked through my lunch. I recently stopped working there. Is there a way to be compensated for the wages lost?


      • #4
        Yes. File a claim for unpaid wages with the state Dept. of Labor.
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