You Must Be Paid for Short Breaks at Work

Sometimes, the work day can seem to drag on forever. Everyone knows how helpful it can be to take a few quick breaks during your day. Whether for a cup of coffee, a cigarette, or even just a few moments to yourself, these 5-20 minute breaks can make a huge difference in morale and productivity.

Many employers understand the benefits of these breaks and allow their workers to take a few minutes to themselves during a shift. But did you know that your employer must continue to pay you, even as you take these permitted breaks?

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), when your employer offers short breaks during the workday (less than 30 minutes), they are legally required to pay you for that time. This means that you should not have to lose pay because of an official break period. It also means that short break time should still be counted towards your hours that week — including your 40-hour pre-overtime requirement. (Time spent on a formal meal break, typically 30 minutes to an hour, does not apply to the total sum of hours worked and does not need to be paid.)

Unfortunately, some employers try to cut corners and take advantage of their employees. If you are not being paid for short breaks that your employer permits you to take, you may be the victim of wage theft. Wage theft occurs when an employer fails to pay a worker the money they have earned.

As a worker, you have rights. One of the most important rights is being paid fairly for the work you do. If you suspect that you have been denied the full pay you have earned, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer. An experienced employment attorney can help you understand your available options and may even be able to help you recover the wages that you lost.

Contact O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble Today

At O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, we believe in the importance of paying people fairly. Our experienced attorneys have won millions of dollars for our clients. We will listen to your story and help you get the wages you earned. We will help you explore the best possible options for your case, possibly including financial compensation.

Contact the attorneys of O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble today to discuss wage theft and potential negotiations. It is important to contact an attorney early to ensure the best possible outcome. Contact us online or call at (908) 928-9200 or 1-800-586-5817.

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