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Illinois Salaried Labor Law - Breaks (Lunch)

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  • Illinois Salaried Labor Law - Breaks (Lunch)

    Hello, I have what I think should be an easy question.

    I am a salaried employee for an illinois company. I must add in my last jobs, this was never an issue.

    I am salaried, so I am not paid by the hour, I basically have to meet deadlines, and manage my own book of business.

    I work an 8 1/2 hour day. I work a solid 8 hours, and take a 1/2 hour unpaid lunch.

    Even though I am a salaried employee, should I not get a 1/2 hour paid break/lunch. This is to say should I be able to take a hour lunch, 1/2 hour paid, the second not paid?

    I guess this is new to me as I have always been able to take as long as a lunch as I wanted as long as I got my job done.

    I guess I feel as though I am back in gradeschool, and recess is only 20 minutes.

  • #2

    No you do not have to be paid for your lunch.

    In fact in many states, the laws don't even require that employers give a break OR a meal period. Federal law requires none.

    Here are the state laws:


    • #3
      Should I be able to get some sort of break time working an 8 hour day?


      • #4

        If you are a non-exempt employee, you are eligible to receive a meal break of 20 minutes, after 5 hours, for employees who are to work 7½ continuous hours or more.
        Lillian Connell

        Forum Moderator


        • #5
          There is no Federal law mandating a lunch break, and the State law for Il is as follows:

          MEAL BREAK

          IL = 20 minutes after 7 and 1/2 hour workday.

          That is all that is required by law.

          However, IF your employer DOES give short breaks, then Federal Law states:

          "...when employers do offer short breaks (usually lasting about 5 to 20 minutes), federal law considers the breaks work-time that must be paid."

          Since you get 30 minutes, it is unpaid and that is OK.
          Last edited by Sue; 03-15-2005, 12:24 PM.


          • #6
            Just to clarify...

            Let's see if I understand this correctly. In Illinois there is no distinction between exempt and non-exempt with respect to the requirement to take at least a 20 min. break after 5 hours if the employee is scheduled to work at least 7.5 continuous hours, correct?

            How is that enforced if exempts cannot track their hours worked without jeopardizing their exempt status?



            • #7
              Who said you can't track your hours without risking your exempt status?

              An exempt employee cannot be PAID on the basis of his/her hours worked without risking the exempt status. But tracking them doesn't harm the exempt status at all. Many employers track their exempt employee's hours for the purpose of FMLA, 401k or other benefits that are based on hours worked. Others do so because they have to bill a client for the hours the exempt employee put into the client's account. TRACKING the hours is fine. It's only basing the employee's pay on them that's at issue.
              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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