Our company pays employees 30 minute lunches so overtime doesn't technically start until 42.5 hours worked. Should our offer letters state we pay lunches so overtime pay doesn't start until 42.5 hours for compliance?

Our company pays employees 30 minute lunches so overtime doesn't technically start until 42.5 hours worked. Should our offer letters state we pay lunches so overtime pay doesn't start until 42.5 hours for compliance?

1 answer  |  asked Oct 11, 2017 11:51 AM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

V Jonas Urba
No. There is no "technically" in any aw.

You may pay employees for lunches but the implication is that if an employee is being paid then they should answer calls or do what needs to be done during lunch.

The entire purpose of a lunch break is to give an employee an "uninterrupted" period of rest when they can eat. Most of us who have consciences would feel obligated to answer a phone or sign for a package if we knew we were being paid because it's the right thing to do. When that happens and an employee alleges "wage theft" in New York bad or costly things often happen to employers.

Don't do it. Pay for all time worked plus overtime for hours in excess of 40 per week and keep precise records of all hours worked. No one works exactly 40 or any other number of hours per week.

If you opted to proceed with paying "technically" you would, of course, pay every employee 2.5 hours of overtime pay every single week for those meal periods as an insurance policy in the event that a disgruntled employee ever claimed they had answered e-mails, phones, or texts during their lunch breaks correct?

posted by V Jonas Urba  |  Oct 11, 2017 12:28 PM [EST]

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