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Indiana employers able to set lunch schedules

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  • Indiana employers able to set lunch schedules

    Just wanting to find out if an employer can have a set time for employees to go to lunch and not pay them for thier lunch? These are hourly employees. Our workday is from 6:30am to 3:00pm.

  • #2
    It is very unusual for there to be a legal requirement to pay people for taking lunch. It is very common (and legal) for the employer to set times for employees to take lunch. The only real exceptions fall under the federal FLSA regulation 29 CFR 785.19 - Meal rules.

    Bona fide meal periods are not worktime. ... The employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purposes of eating regular meals. Ordinarily 30 minutes or more is long enough for a bona fide meal period.

    Why would you think that employers have to pay employees to take lunch?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      Indiana does not require breaks of any kind, including lunch periods.

      So, the employer is pretty much free to set what time employees must take breaks, which need not be paid (if they are at least twenty minutes long -- shorter breaks must be paid).

      Some states that do have mandated lunch breaks limit when they must be taken (unbelievably, some employers in states without such restrictions have employees taking "lunch" right after getting to work at 7 AM. Stupid, but meets the letter of the law, if not the spirit).

      Very few states (only Massachusetts comes to mind) require that an employee be allowed to leave the employer's premises during the lunch break. Failure to do so in Massachusetts means the time becomes paid, as I recall.

      Indiana, though, has none of that.

      The employer can set the lunch times and not pay you for any break of 20 minutes or more.
      Last edited by ScottB; 11-30-2007, 09:22 AM.
      Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.


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