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No Meal Breaks California

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  • No Meal Breaks California

    I rarely take a lunch break at work, We just got a new HR/Payroll person that has questioned this with my superior, who veified that I usually do not take a lunch. The time clock is set up to "automatically deduct" 30 minutes from your hours at the sixth hour you are on the clock. If you punch out for your meal break, the clock totals at the end of the day, and the auto deduct goes away. I was told that they will have to pay me the 30 minutes on all of the days that I did not take a meal break for the whole 2+ years that I have been employed.
    My questions are:
    Do they actually owe me 1 hour for each of those days? And, are these hours paid at my current rate of pay or can they go back to the period in question and pay the rate I was making at the time?
    What about this Auto Deduct that the clock is set up for?
    I have seen my time sheets and it clearly shows that I did not punch out for a lunch but, there is a column with the heading - Auto deduct - which shows 30 mins.

  • #2
    Yes, they do have to pay you an hour of work for any time that you did not take a 30 minute meal break in which you were released of all duties. They can go back and pay at the rate of pay you were making then for calculating the penalty.

    I can't give you a certain answer on the auto-deduct, as that would come down to what would be decided on this specific case. I can tell you that the burden is on the employer to demonstrate that the employee was furnished their break and I personally doubt that an auto-deduct would stand up to that sort of test.

    Also, the employer is within their rights to discipline employees who do not take their break when it is provided.

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    • #3
      I'm wondering WHY you don't take your meal breaks?

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