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Employer Looses, Must Pay Employees for Short Breaks

Employer Looses, Must Pay Employees for Short Breaks

Try to believe this one: An employer refused to pay employees for any breaks lasting more than 90 seconds.

Twice now, this selfish employer lost in court, first before the trial court and just recently before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. See  DOL v. American Future Systems, Inc.

Employment lawyers have seized on this case, writing blogs on it as if it were some huge, unexpected employer loss:

The U.S. Department of Labor has long held that “[r]est periods of short duration, running from 5 minutes to about 20 minutes … must be counted as hours worked. Compensable time of rest periods may not be offset against other working time such as compensable waiting time or on-call time.” (29 C.F.R. § 785.18.)

The Court of Appeals, in its strong rejection of the employer’s arguments, explained that the Fair Labor Standards Act is humanitarian and remedial legislation that is to be liberally interpreted; “hours worked is not limited to the time an employee actually performs his or her job duties,” and “some breaks constitute ‘hours worked’ under the FLSA.”

Bottom line: An employer MUST pay employees for breaks lasting 20 minutes or less!

If you think you are owed wages for unpaid breaks, contact Lebau & Neuworth at 888-456-2529 or lebauneuworth.com/contact-us.

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