Am I required to take a 30 minute lunch?

My employer has reprimanded me for not taking a 30 minute lunch which they have
in their policy handbook. They have said that this is because I am, by law,
required to take this lunch. They then added a lunch in on my time clock, which
removed 30 minute of time worked for that day.

Am I actually required to take this lunch? Are they then required to compensate
me for the additional 30 minutes I worked?

Asked on September 7, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

They can't make you eat, but they can insist that you "clock out" or go off the clock (i.e. not work; not be paid) for "lunch" for 30 minutes per day. Whether or not the law requires this, your employer can require this: your employer has full discretion to set the hours, time, etc. you work. So if your employer believes that you should be off the clock for 30 minutes, you must be off the clock. So long as you are truly off the clock (i.e. not required to work) during that time, they do not have to pay you for it.


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