Federal and Texas Employment Law Breaks Requirements to Know
Dallas Employment Attorney for Unpaid Overtime Wage and Hour Lawsuits
Do employers have to give employees lunch breaks or short breaks at work? Many Texas employees are allowed to take a meal break, but not everyone. There are no Texas lunch break laws that require employers to provide lunch breaks or other work breaks. Federal requirements for employment law breaks do dictate that employees are paid for short breaks at work. However, some employers could elect to not allow breaks at all.
State and federal law do not require employee meal breaks. However, most employers find that not providing meal breaks negatively affects productivity and morale.
Do you have other questions about employment law breaks? Or, do you feel that your employer is not following the law for breaks? Then, contact overtime and wages attorney Dan A. Atkerson for a free consultation to discuss fair compensation.
Federal Employment Laws on Paid and Unpaid Breaks
Federal labor law breaks state that employers must pay employees for hours worked, which includes some small breaks. For instance, let’s say an an employer asks an assistant to answer phones while eating lunch. Then, the employer must pay the assistant for that time. In another example, let’s say a worker eats while driving between assignments. He or she should receive payment for travel time driving from one job to the next. Texas and federal employment laws also consider small five to 20 minute breaks part of the workday.
Full lunch breaks, or “bona fide” employee meal breaks, are unpaid breaks so long as you do not have to do any work. Employment standards meal breaks typically last between 30 minutes to an hour.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act also dictates that breastfeeding mothers have a small break for breastfeeding or expressing breast milk. This is also an unpaid break.
If you do not have an employment contract that affords time off for lunch or are not part of a union, then you are subject to what your employer believes to be fair.
Many wage and overtime claims often intertwine with violations of employment law breaks. For example, if your employer requires you to be available for clients or on the phone during your lunch break, you may be entitled to pay for on-call hours.
What are Texas Employment Break Laws?
Many other states have employment lunch break laws that allow employees to take meal and rest breaks, but Texas is not one of them. Like federal labor law breaks, Texas employment law does not require that employers allow their workers to take lunch breaks or rest breaks. However, all companies in Texas must pay employees for any and all time they spend working as well as for small work breaks they do allow.