Breaks at Work: Employee Rights and Employer Obligations

Breaks in the workforce are often times a part of a company’s strategy for increasing productivity. An employee is usually expected to work a minimum of forty hours a week. But is this really enough? When an employee’s working hours are cut, are there any legal issues with the employer cutting their hours?

Many workers have legitimate concerns about their employer cutting their hours because they are taking less pay. Some employers actually require two unpaid days off every week. Is this legal? The courts have ruled that employers cannot legally prevent their employees from filing for bankruptcy and then taking their wages along with them. This ruling applies to all cases, not just those where an employee takes an unpaid leave of absence.

If you are laid off from your job and have unpaid wages to show for it, what do you do? You might ask your former employer for a ‘hardship letter’. You might think this would cover your claim for lost wages, medical bills and other losses due to being forced out of the job. Unfortunately, there are some hidden expenses in this type of request for money which are not considered by the court. Some employers will file for bankruptcy and escape with their ill-gotten gains, only to file for a civil lawsuit later claiming that you never should have been laid off in the first place. This is why it’s important to talk to an employment attorney who can make sure you get the right advice for your particular situation.

Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable breaks for their employees. These requirements are measured on a case-by-case basis and can vary depending on the laws in different states. Some states allow employers to require employees to work without taking any breaks, whereas other states limit this right to two hours. But most states do allow breaks of up to an additional twenty-minute each day.

In some cases, courts have held that an employer can require an employee to remain at work after having requested a meal break. If the employee is allowed to continue working, then that employee is entitled to compensation for lunch breaks, as long as the employer does not keep the employee on the clock after the lunch period ends. An employee may file a personal labor action against his or her employer to pursue this claim. In many cases, however, the labor action does not succeed unless the employer has provided the requested breaks. Again, an employment attorney is the best resource for more information on these issues.

Some courts have held that an employer cannot prevent an employee from filing a complaint for missing lunch breaks. An employment attorney can assist in filing a complaint if your employer attempts to prevent you from taking lunch breaks.

Many employers also provide meal breaks but provide them only for a short period of time. In some cases, these employers take only a few minutes to give workers lunch breaks and then require the employees to work through the rest of the day without taking lunch. These employers violate the rights of their employees under federal and state laws. An experienced labor lawyer can advise you on the legal rights of your employer and help you receive the most favorable resolution from the court.

You should also be concerned about the quality of the work when you are required to work through the lunch break. Many employers will reduce the number of hours employees are able to work in order to save money on labor costs. In some cases, the employer will deduct lunch breaks from the employee’s paycheck, cutting into their paycheck before they have even been paid for their work. An experienced labor lawyer can advise you on your rights as an employee, and the legal steps you should take if you feel you have been mistreated by your employer. You may also want to talk to an employment lawyer if you are filing a charge of discrimination with your company.