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Are salaried non-exempt employees in South Carolina required to take lunch breaks?

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  • Are salaried non-exempt employees in South Carolina required to take lunch breaks?

    I have worked a 12 hour, 7 pm to 7 am shift for the last 9 years as a salaried non-exempt employee in South Carolina and have never been required to take a lunch break. Taking my two 15 minute breaks during evenly spaced intervals has always been sufficient enough time for me to grab a snack. My company has about 1200 people at my location with only about 40 of us getting paid as salaried non-exempt. As of January 01, 2005, our HR department has revised it's lunch break policy to REQUIRE each and every associate to take a mandatory unpaid lunch break even if they do not want to take it. When asked why, My manager and HR rep have stated that it is a direct result of mandates set forth by the Sarbanes-Oxley act. So I guess my question is four part;

    1.What exactly is the law, if any regarding lunch breaks in South Carolina? (A link with an excerpt of how the law is written will be wonderful)

    2.What exactly is the Federal law, if any regarding lunch breaks? (A link with an excerpt of how the law is written will be wonderful)

    3.If the company has been allowing a practice such as this and has not been requiring lunch breaks for a historically documented period of time such as in this case. Can they legally make a sudden policy change like this even though it will clearly be a reduction in pay as much as $5200 yearly as is in my case?

    4. Is it possible that my HR department has just overlooked the negative impact that this new policy will have on the few salary non-exempt people it has working for them? We have after all 1160 persons that will not be financially affected at all and 40 that will be loosing on the average $5200 from their yearly salary.

  • #2
    Lunch Break

    This was answered on the other forum.
    Lillian Connell

    Forum Moderator
    www.laborlawtalk.com

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