Understanding your rights as an employee in Texas is important. It could mean the difference between a good or mediocre paycheck. Employment lawyer Dan A. Atkerson has been handling unpaid overtime cases for clients in the Allen, TX area for over 30 years. When meeting with you, he will determine whether your employer is violating Texas Employment Laws and you deserve compensation for unpaid wages and unpaid small breaks.
Employment laws differ from state to state, so it’s important to find someone, such as Mr. Atkerson, who is well versed in both Texas and federal overtime laws and has a reputation for recovering the unpaid wages that clients deserve.
Understanding Texas Employment Laws for Small Breaks and Meal Times
According to both Texas and federal law, an employer does NOT have to provide meal or rest breaks throughout the day, although many choose to do so because a fed and rested worker is generally more productive. If employers provide small five- to 20-minute breaks throughout the day, they are not allowed to deduct pay. Doing so may violate Texas overtime laws.
In addition, if your employer provides 30-minute meal breaks, these are considered unpaid and they do not have to pay you for this time. However, an unpaid break means you are released of all work-related duties. Unfortunately, this is where many employers either unknowingly or knowingly take advantage of their employees. If you are required to continue working at your desk or workspace during your deemed break or mealtime, that is considered a violation and you deserve to be paid. In most cases, you can seek overtime pay for this time.
How to Determine Your Deserved Wages
As stated above, if your employer provides breaks, the law demands that any breaks 20 minutes and under must be paid. If you are required to perform any work duties while on your unpaid break that lasts longer than 20 minutes, your employer has a duty to pay you for your time.
Follow the below guidelines to determine what you are due:
- Calculate any unpaid breaks of 20-plus minutes where you were instructed to continuing working.
- Calculate each break of five to 20 minutes that you were technically allowed to take, whether you took it or not.
You deserve to be paid for this time. Mr. Atkerson will also be able to determine whether these unpaid wages include overtime and can help get you get compensated for unpaid overtime.
In addition to unpaid small breaks, Mr. Atkerson will also be able to determine whether your employer is in violation of:
- Unpaid wages for work completed off the clock. (According to federal law, Texas employers must pay time-and-a-half when employees work 40-plus hours in a work week.)
- Unpaid wages for earned bonuses/commissions
- Illegal deductions
If you are concerned your employer may be in violation of Texas and federal law and have unpaid wages, you need to find a lawyer that understands employment law and will fight for your rights. The Law Office of Dan A. Atkerson will review your case and determine whether legal action should be pursued. To schedule your consultation, contact our office online or call (214) 383-3606.