About our lunch hour

I work for the county of Montgomery TX,
and the new employee hand
state,,,sleeping or anything that
resembles sleeping including during
working hours including lunch or
break time is not acceptable. You
must be alert at all times to your
responsibilities for your safety and
the safety of other employees. Failure
to adhere to this policy will be
considered gross misconduct and will
result in disciplinary action, up to
and including termination, So does
this mean that we have to deduct the
hour for lunch, since we are not
relived of duty?

Asked on September 8, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are not working during lunch, you do not have to be paid. The fact that sleeping on the job is forbidden does not change that. Employers have considerable discretion or power to say that certain behavior--e.g. sleeping, smoking, drinking alcohol, etc.--is not permitted during the work day even if you are then on a break. The fact that they prohibit certain behavior does not require them to pay you so long as you are not doing work at the time.


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