Are You Paid When You Work Through Your Lunch Breaks?

Have you ever sat down to eat your lunch and have a co-worker interrupt you with a work question?  Have you ever clocked out for lunch only to be interrupted by a customer needing help?

Before you know it, you’ve spent your lunch period working and you never got a break.  Even worse, your employer required you to clock out for lunch so you never got paid for your work. When you work during a lunch break, the law requires that employers pay for such time.  However, many workers never get paid for this time.  

In order for a meal break to be unpaid time, the law requires that the employee be “completely relieved of duty.”  For example, eating at your desk while continuing to respond to e-mails or doing other computer tasks is work for which you  should be paid.

This unpaid wage issue is prevalent in many different industries.  Retail and restaurant workers frequently get interrupted to help customers during their breaks.  Drivers, installers, and delivery workers typically travel from location to location during the day and never have time to take a full meal break.  Office workers face the same issues with e-mails, phone calls, and supervisors’ demands interrupting their lunch break time.  Nurses and other medical workers frequently get called to help patients during their lunch breaks.

Shavitz Law Group is here to help. When facing lawsuits for these claims, employers have paid substantial amounts of money to settle the claims.  If you worked through lunch breaks without being paid, please contact us at [email protected] or 800-616-4000.



Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 800 3rd Ave, Suite 2800, New York, NY.  Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ, and TX.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone.

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