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Is it legal for my employer to take an hour out of my pay because I don't clock out for 30 minutes/no break?
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Is it legal for my employer to take an hour out of my pay because I don't clock out for 30 minutes/no break?

most times we don't have time to take a full 30 min. break in healthcare, yet they threaten us that they will take an hour out if we do not clock out for 30 min. break or no break. this just doesn't sound legal to me. Shouldn't we be paid for all time on the clock? They are also threatening to take make us clock out for the 15 min breaks; we work 12 hour shifts.


They cannot dock your pay because you did not take a 30 minute break. If you work more than five hours you must take a 30 minute break. (they have to pay you if you don't take it) If you work less than six hours both sides can wave the break. However if the nature of your business does not allow it then you can waive your break. Healthcare could be one of the categories. If you work more than 10 hours the first break can be waived but not the second. The employers have to compensate you for missing your break. This is hourly. only if you are on salary then still they cannot dock your pay but you do not have to follow this guidelines.

well, legally they have to allow you a 1/2 hr for every 8 hr shift.
If you dont do this they can get in trouble if someone reports them. In Fla anyway...so If you work 12 hr shifts, you need 1/2 lunch with 2-15min breaks......

louise t
The way health and safety laws are, your employer is responsible for making you able to take the breaks.

It sounds as though they are going about it in an unusual way and no I don't think they can dock you for working through breaks. They can get fined potentially though, and there's also the standard of work to consider - if you are fatigued it won't be as good.

It's probably just an idle threat, but why not start taking your breaks?

The rules are set down by the employer for all employees to follow. It should be in your manual. The procedure is to clock out for lunch and clock back in. They have the jurisdiction to dock your pay if the procedures are not followed.

The Department of Labor will also tell you the same thing.

There's not a whole lot you can do to battle the conflict. The end result is you could be fired for not clocking out at lunch. They consider that stealing so be very careful how you battle this one.

I would ask an attorney in your area because different states have different laws regarding employee rights.

Dan H
In the US, an employer must pay you for all hours worked. In some states, there is a mandated lunch break. In NM it is 30 minutes and it is up to the employer whether it is paid or not. However, it is mandatory and the employer can deduct the pay from the paycheck whether the employee took it or not. The employer cannot force the employee not to take the break. Your state rules may vary.

If your state has a mandatory break system, you should be taking your breaks. If your employer is forcing you to work through your breaks, they would be in violation of their state laws.

Basically, if you are working, you are on the clock and you should be getting paid. If you are clocked out, you are not working.

If this continues and management insists on breaking the rules, go to your state's Wage and Hour division and file a complaint. If the violations are found to be systemic, the company will be in major trouble.

It depends. Are you hourly or salary.

If they make you work, but are clocking you out, then that is certainly illegal. But if you are choosing not to take a break, that could be different.

Yes, you should be paid for the time on the clock if you actually worked it. If you forget to clock out, they can of course adjust your time down for the time you weren't actually working, but not for extra beyond that. And if you actually work through what should have been your lunch break, then you don't clock out and are paid for the time.

If they are saying that you do need to take your break, then clock out and take your lunch but don't work during that time. They can't have it both ways.

yes it is. i work at a hospital. and we automatically get 30mins taken out. but if we so happen to NOT take a lunch, then we can put that time back in and get paid for it. most states do not require 15 min breaks. meaning you arent legally entitled to a 15 min on company time break.

There may be different rules for health care workers -- I'm not familiar with the set up -- but generally employers cannot forcefully clock you out if you are still working. They must pay for all time worked. They can, however, write you up, discipline you for not taking the breaks they require. They can even fire you for not following the rules.

Second, you must be paid for any break that is shorter than 20 minutes.

Just to be absolutely certain, check with your state's Department of Labor, wage and hour division. It may vary a bit for your state, and/or your occupation.

debbie f
If they tell you their policy and you want to still work there then just do what they ask. I would think that the time clock is near the cafeteria anyway. I am not sure about in/out on 15 min breaks. Sounds to me that many people are taking liberties with the amount of time they take on both and the employer is trying to get an honest days pay for an honest days work. Maybe your supervisor can sign you in and out for lunch to have it documentated but you must clear that with human resources. To get the real answer though contact your labor board.

Take a lawyer but in the mean time take my word.

It is legal, but if you want, then get a petition going and find, an amicable solution.

Law actually requires that employer give the break, people must take the break, depends on local labour law or employee employer laws.

Employer is playing safe, and avoiding hassles with the local labour law enforcement. By forcing you to take break.

Take the break, it is healthy to take break from the work. 12 hours is a long time to work without the break.

I do understand that the shift gets stretched out to 12.5 hours. But it is the law in most locations.

They may have to make you clock out if the law requires, that the proper record is kept, that they are giving you the required break.

In most countries it is strictly govern by local laws but but they must meet the minimum requirements of state and the federal laws also.

No that is total bull crap. Fight back man.

Is it legal for a employer to clock a person out without their knowledge? I am an hourly employee. Corporate doesn't want me to have over 40 hours. I was told I had my hours in and HR had clocked me out on the computer. I was still working. Is this legal?

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