Overtime Laws

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Meal Breaks and Other Breaks

Policies that automatically deduct meal breaks regardless of whether an uninterrupted meal was taken are major source of FLSA violations.

Bona fide meal periods generally need not be compensated. These periods are generally thirty minutes or longer. However, if the employee is not completely relieved of job duties during the meal break, it is not considered a bona fide meal period and the employee must be compensated for this time.

Employees who take brief rest periods—generally lasting twenty minutes or less—are still considered to be working during this time and are therefore entitled to compensation. However, if employees take unauthorized rest periods that extend beyond the permitted time period, the employees need not be compensated for this time.

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