clocking out for lunch

I work for a corp, (LLC)that has several branches in several states. The headquarters, or corp. offices are in TN. There are only 2 employees in each office. We work M-S, alternating weekends and 1 day off each week.
My question, is concerning lunch breaks. We are required to clock out for 30 min each day, whether we actually get to take a break or not. We are told we can "run get something to eat" but we have to come right back to the office. There are times when the office is not busy, and we can actually sit down and eat our lunch, but there are also times that we have to work even though we are clocked out. I have asked my District Manager about this, and she says that my office is the only one that complains. I have talked to some of the other offices, and they have the same problem. I guess my question is this: Is it legal for a company to make its employees clock out for lunch, but not actually give them one? What can we do to make this right? Thanks

1 answer  |  asked Jan 8, 2006 9:39 PM [EST]  |  applies to Tennessee

Answers (1)

Alan Crone
Lunch Breaks

What your employer is doing is not legal for possibly two reasons. 1. You should be paid for all time you are actually working. If you clock out for lunch and continue to work, you are working "off the clock" and that is illegal. If you are an hourly worker you must be paid for every minute you are working. 2. There are possible overtime issues here. If that off the clock time pushes your work over 40 hours in a given week, then you are entitled to overtime (time and half) for those hours over 40. 3. Federal law requires that you recieve a 30 minute lunch break and two 15 minute breaks each day.

You can work to get the company to reverse this policy and pay you back pay. We can help you.

Please contact my office at 1.800.403.7868 to schedule a consultation. For these types of cases we work on a contingency fee basis. (No cost to you unless you recover money.) Also, take a look at our overtime website,

posted by Alan Crone  |  Jan 9, 2006 08:37 AM [EST]

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