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Breaks for Exempt Employee

Can I require my exempt employees who are not under a collective bargaining agreement and do not work with/manage people with disabilities to take a 60 minute lunch versus a minimum of 20? Thank you.

There is no federal law that requires employers to provide employees, either exempt or non-exempt, with breaks or meal periods. Some states have adopted laws for break and meal period requirements. However, such laws often don’t apply to exempt employees.

So, in general, requiring an exempt employee to take a lunch break of any duration is a matter of company policy. Just remember, any time spent taking breaks cannot be deducted from an exempt employee’s salary. An exempt employee’s salary cannot fluctuate based on quality or quantity of work.

Be prepared for some backlash from your exempt employees. Exempt employees often believe that their exempt status allows them to not have to follow a set schedule including when and how long to take lunch. Thus, it’s best to clearly communicate your new policy and be prepared for some questions and a little animosity.

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 25th, 2015 at 7:03 pm and is filed under
Compensation, Labor Laws.
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