You Deserve A Break: Common Employer Lunch Break Rights Violations, Part II

In our last blog we explained some of your rights with regard to lunch and rest breaks, both at the federal level and in New York, and we also detailed two common violations of your wage rights with regard to breaks that are often practiced by employers in order to save a buck or two at your expense.

Today, we will continue with Part II of our blog series on your lunch and rest break rights and detail two more common violations that you have the power to fight back against. If you have questions about your rights or you suspect that your employer is taking advantage of you, please contact the law office of AndersonDodson today.

Violation #3 – Some companies have an automatic time deduction built in to your hours for a 30 or 60 minute lunch, when the employer in fact knows that there is no way you will be able to to take that break due to your job’s requirements. There is nothing inherently wrong with a company having automatic time deductions if you are actually getting to take the break all or most of the time. It is when the company knows or should know that you will be unable to take that time each day that the employer can get in trouble.

Violation #4 – Short breaks, known as rest breaks, coffee breaks, or (back in the olden days) smoke breaks, are considered compensable time under federal and New York law. If your company allows you to take these short breaks of 20 minutes or less throughout the day, but your employer also attempts to deduct those breaks from your paycheck, they are actively violating your rights. Sometimes companies will even make you clock out for a 5 minute restroom break!  Not only is that illegal, it’s just plain wrong.

This blog series is just a brief overview of some common break rights violations practiced by employers, and there are many other ways companies may seek to save some money by violating your wage and break rights. If you believe your employer is violating your wage or break rights in any way, contact the law firm of AndersonDodson and let us analyze your case and, if possible, fight to get you the compensation you are entitled to. And be sure to check out Part I of this blog for more information on your break rights and how some employers infringe upon them.

Written by AndersonDodson


AndersonDodson, P.C. is a law firm dedicated to holding employers accountable for paying their employees correctly. We are aggressive and tenacious when we need to be, if that’s what it takes to get the job done. Sometimes the playground bully needs to be brought down a notch, and we are plenty equipped for a fight if it becomes necessary. But we also don’t go looking for a fight. Our mission is to get our clients paid what the law says they deserve, not to stir up trouble where none is needed. Trouble is distracting from life, and living life should always come first.