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Can your job tell you that you can't leave property during lunch time?
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Can your job tell you that you can't leave property during lunch time?

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I am required to clock out, so i don't get payed for it..


sixx p
They can. Unfortunately, depending on the type of work you do and where you live as well as if you are paid for breaks or not, the labor laws are written so vaguely that even an accident on your lunch break may be covered under these laws. For example, if you work for a company that provides paid breaks and lunch time, they can in fact tell you that you may not leave the premises because if something happens to you on your break, they may be found liable under insurance, workman's comp and labor law regulations. I worked for a company like this where we had paid 15 minute breaks and lunch hour. Across the street (2 lane road) was a strip plaza with restaraunts and a convenience store with cheap food. It was maybe 150 yards from the building I worked. I was scolded for leaving to go there one day and told if I was hit by a car during that time, their insurance would have had to cover me because I was being paid, therefore covered by all insurance, workman's comp and labor laws. So if a car had hit me, the store had been robbed, etc, my employer still could have been found at fault to some degree even though they had no control of the matter. Sounds crazy, but unfortunately, true. If you are not paid for breaks, I believe (depending on the state) you cannot be told where to go or not go. You are relieved of all duties at the point you punch out, the same as you are at the end of your work day. You are not being paid from the point you clock out in that situation so therefore, most laws could not hold your employer liable for what happens during your lunch break unless federal law has a provision that specifically states this.
Also, another thing to consider is if you leave your building or are in the work area (for example, contractors, construction work), those employers may be liable if something happens if it is on their property or in their vehicle.

Where my son-in-law worked they had to take their breaks on the property or clock out and be docked the time. Usually you are not paid for your lunch time, so you should be able to leave if you want. Unless you are in the military, they should not be able to tell you where to eat lunch.

Lethal Dose Of American Hatred
Well, it depends. If it's a paid lunch then you usually aren't allowed to leave the premises because if something happened they would be liable because you are still "on the clock". Non-paid lunches it usually doesn't matter because you are "off the clock".

However it has been my experience that if you do get a paid lunch break and you need to leave the premises all you need to do is ask. Most will allow you to sign out or clock out and do so, provided, you are back before it is time to resume work.

Sure they can.

Are they paying you, or are you off the clock?

They can but I'd be looking for a new job b/c that is BS!

Hmm, you better read your work rules and if that is part of your employment, yes they can. If they tell you not to leave the worksite, and you do, it could be grounds for your removal. So what's going on with the other employees.

JFS (made of cute)

Yes, and as long as the lunch break is longer than 20 minutes they don't have to pay you for the time you are at lunch.

In fact, if you leave the property, they can fire you.

And it does not matter what other departments do. Just follow the rules.

Hey there
If it is a paid lunch, then yes. If your leaving would somehow jeopardize the security or your response time (like a correctional officer, medical staff, and the like) then yes. If they have never allowed it (past practice) then yes. However, if you don't get a paid lunch and its not in your contract, they can't enforce it.

if your on there time they can but if you clock out for lunch then you can do what you please

I would say if you clock out for a lunch time and there not paying you.. then u can do whatever you want your not on there time !!

Yes they can, most states your employer has to pay hourly wage during this time.

Absolutely NOT!! If you are off the clock, you can do whatever you want! It is definately illegal for them to tell you that you cannot leave the property!

Anna S
No they can't. Once you punch that time clock, regardless if it's to end you shift or to go to lunch, they can't tell you what to do because you are on your time, not theirs.

Ryan G
They can't if your not on the clock. Your 15 minute breaks are a different story

i know my rights and once you punch out your employer tell you cant leave the building once you had clock out it is not right who can i talk to about this matter.

who can i talk too about this matter

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