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Break time: Solve confusion over whether you must pay

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

THE LAW. Contrary to popular belief, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) doesn't require employers to provide meal breaks or rest breaks for employees over age 18. However, several states do set such laws. And if you operate in a unionized workplace, you may also be bound by collective-bargaining agreements that require breaks.

Although the FLSA doesn't mandate employee breaks, it does specify when you must compensate employees for break time. The basic rule: Pay for any employee breaks of 20 minutes or less. Breaks that extend beyond 20 minutes can be unpaid as long as the employee performs no work during that time.

For example, if you require a receptionist to monitor the lobby during her lunch, those minutes are paid time. The same goes if you ask employees to wear pagers or be on-call during breaks.

WHAT'S NEW. Lately, some states are trying to tweak their rules on meal and rest breaks, mostly in emp...(register to read more)

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