Rests and Meal periods

So just out of curiosity, my employer states that by law all employees MUST take a 30 minute meal period, honestly I'm ok with being a forced meal period but is it truly illegal? I know minors have to be given one after a 5~6 hour work period.

Also we were told at one point that our 15 minute breaks would no longer be paid, out of curiosity is that legal as well? I didn't think much of it honestly but from what I found on OSHA's site, "rest" periods must be counted as hours worked (rest period being defined as a brief period of down time under 20 mins). These are more so curiosity questions as I said twice already more then me looking to start anything with my employer.

Just to clarify after seeing the responses (for anyone in the future that may read this question) this is a non-union based company.

2 answers  |  asked Mar 17, 2011 3:14 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (2)

Christopher Ezold
Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, Scott Leah gave you an excellent answer. I am curious, however, as to whether you are union - if so, your collective bargaining agreement may impact your rights to pay for breaks.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
Chair of the Board,
Magellan Leadership Group

The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Mar 18, 2011 07:50 AM [EST]
Scott Leah
Based on the facts as set forth in your question, my answers would be:

1. There is no law requiring employees to take a 30 minute meal period. Your employer is incorrect. However, an employer may have a policy requiring 30 minute meal periods. Your employer may therefore require that meal break even though the law does not.

2. Yes, breaks under 20 minutes are considered hours worked and must be paid.

posted by Scott Leah  |  Mar 18, 2011 05:07 AM [EST]

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