Understanding the Laws on Unpaid Breaks
Our Ohio wage law attorneys explain the rules
Are you interrupted by your employer during your unpaid lunch break? Under federal and Ohio law, your unpaid lunch break must be counted as hours worked if you are regularly interrupted by your employer. That time is yours. You should be paid for it if that time is taken from you.
Do you get paid for your rest breaks that last 20 minutes or less? State and federal law require that all rest breaks of 20 minutes or less must be paid. If you are required to clock out for rest breaks, and are not paid for that time, your employer may be violating the law.
At Nilges Draher LLC, our experienced Ohio wage law attorneys know how the legal system works when it comes to unpaid breaks and other work-related wage and hour violation claims. That's why we have such a strong track record of success - more than $26 million recovered for workers in Ohio and across the country.
We can also work with you and your co-workers if other employees at your company are not being paid for interrupted lunches or short rest breaks. In such instances, you and fellow employees may have a class action lawsuit against your company, something we're very familiar with handling for other workers. In fact, we are currently handling multiple class-action cases against employers who had or have unlawful break policies.
Ohio's unpaid break laws
Ohio and federal labor laws do not require companies to provide workers with breaks (paid or unpaid) as part of their shift. However, many Ohio companies choose to give employees breaks. If your employer does so, it must adhere to the following rules:
- Short rest breaks are defined as time off during work of 20 minutes or less. These include bathroom breaks and other brief interruptions in your job duties. Employees must be paid for all such short rest breaks.
- Meal breaks of 30 minutes or longer do not have to be paid; however, employees on an unpaid break must be relieved of all their duties during their break.
- If you have to clock out for your meal break, you must get 30 uninterrupted minutes. If you are asked to handle a work task (such as assisting a customer) during your break, then the break counts as time worked.
If your rights were not respected, we can help. Contact us right now.
How we can help you
Too many employers break the law in order to force workers to do unpaid work and improve their own bottom line. Your employer is not allowed to interrupt your lunch break. That is your time. And, you must be paid for all rest breaks of 20 minutes or less.
We know the rules. We know what's allowed. And we want to help. We know how to investigate such cases and can speak on your behalf with your employer. Some companies agree to rectify the situation. But if they refuse to cooperate, we're prepared to take them to court.
Put your trust in a wage and hour violation lawyer who puts your best interests first. Schedule your free consultation today.