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Can an early lunchtime mean no break time?

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Q. If I work from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., can my employer allow a 10-minute break in the morning, lunch at 11 a.m. and no break in the afternoon because I didn’t work four hours after lunch?

A. I assume from your question that you work in a covered industry subject to Colorado Minimum Wage Order No. 24 and are not in an exempt position.

With respect to breaks, which are referred to as “rest periods,” the wage order states: “Every employer shall authorize and permit rest periods, which, insofar as practicable, shall be in the middle of each four-hour work period. A compensated ten-minute rest period for each four hours or major fractions thereof shall be permitted for all employees.”

Thus, if your lunch is from 11 to 11:30 a.m., the rest of your day is still 2½ hours, or more than half of a four-hour period. You should get another 10-minute rest period. 

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