Q. Ourautomatically deducts 30 minutes per day from drivers for lunch since they are on the road and away from a computer. I have concerns about liability. Should we make this deduction? — Kary, Maryland
A. A decision to set up yourto automatically deduct meal breaks can backfire if the employee doesn’t actually take the meal break on a given day—or claim to not have taken the break.
Changing the software setup is one option, although that may create a burden on the employee to get to a place to input the lunch break daily. Another option: Continue to use the current software, but require each driver to review and correct actual time worked before certifying the record as correct. This will help you defend a claim that the automatic software resulted in underpayments. (Keep records showing the driver certified the record as correct.)