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Jan25

Clocking In/Out for Breaks

Must employees clock in/out for breaks?

There is no federal law that requires private employers to provide meal periods or rest breaks to employees. Some states have adopted such mandates so it’s important to be aware of applicable state law. Feel free to comment on this question with the state and we can research any such laws.

Even if an employer offers any type of breaks, whether employees are required to clock in/out is still at the discretion of the employer.

There are compensation guidelines set forth under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Under the FLSA, short breaks lasting less than twenty minutes in duration must be compensated.

Meal periods typically lasting thirty minutes serve a different purpose than short breaks and are not time required to be compensated. However, employees must be relieved of all work responsibilities during meal periods. If an employee does any work during his meal period the time must be compensated.

So, employers may require non-exempt (hourly paid) employees to clock in/out for bona fide meal periods since the time is not required to be compensated. It’s also permissible for employers to require exempt employees to clock in/out for meal periods for documentation purposes but the time may not be deducted from their salaries per FLSA criteria for exempt status.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 25th, 2016 at 2:14 pm and is filed under
Attendance Management, Compensation.
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