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One common wage violation in Ohio is failing to pay individuals for their meal or rest periods. This can significantly affect a person’s compensation. At Scott & Winters Law Firm, LLC, our dedicated team is standing by to help if you need a Cleveland unpaid meal and rest period attorney by your side. We have the resources necessary to analyze the facts of your claim and take on your employer to help recover any unpaid wages you are entitled to.
It is not uncommon for an employer to require or allow employees to work through part or all of the unpaid meal breaks. This can become a major wage and hour violation.
Some employers require mandatory meal breaks. Others automatically deduct a half hour or a full hour from an employee’s pay. Either way, employers are not allowed to deduct for meal breaks without considering whether or not employees actually had a bona fide meal break where the employees are relieved of all job duties.
In situations where the employee is not relieved of all job duties during their “meal break,” the deduction for a meal break is not permitted. This can include things like handling incident reports during the lunch break or, for an office worker, checking emails or answering phone calls during the break. In addition, if you are required to sit at your desk or stay in your work area during the break and you are not completely relieved of work duties, you may be entitled to unpaid compensation.
Many employers put pressure on managers to keep labor costs down. Especially in this era of COVID, many establishments, especially in the service industry, are understaffed. This can cause employees to have to work through lunch or other meal breaks. Other times, employees in an office environment frequently work through lunch to get all of their work done. When this happens, an employer is not allowed to deduct a meal break from an employee’s pay.
The U.S. Department of Labor has issued regulations that directly deal with meal breaks. A meal break generally must be at least 20 minutes – a meal break of less than 20 minutes is probably illegal. You have the right to proceed in a collective action if the policy applies to all hourly workers or all hourly workers who perform the same job duties as you, which can help stop employers from violating the law and maximize recovery for all those whose rights have been violated. If you face deductions for breaks under 20 minutes or have to work through your lunch break, contact the lawyers at Scott & Winters Law Firm for a free legal consultation today.
You deserve to be paid fairly, but we know that there are times when employers engage in unfair practices to keep people from recovering the compensation they are entitled to. At Scott & Winters Law Firm, we have the resources necessary to investigate your allegations of an unpaid meal or rest periods. Let us use our legal knowledge to help you recover any unpaid wages you are entitled to. Our Cleveland unpaid meal and rest period attorneys are standing by to help. You can contact us for a free consultation, and we are always available when you call (216) 912-2221.