Bylaw do you have to take a full 30 minute lunch or can it be 15 to 20 minutes?

I can eat my lunch in 15 to 20 minutes but was told I have to take a mandatory 30 minutes by law. Is this correct? I live in CO.

Asked on January 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You employer has to provide you a 30 minute unpaid lunch break in your state in many industries, once you work at least 5 hours in a day (the break doesn't necessarily have to be in the 5th hour, but if you work at least 5 hours, you are getting a break). 
Even if you were not required by law to get a 30 minute lunch break, the employer has the right to state that you must take one: employers, not employees, set hours and determine when and how much you may work.
So whether you need 30 minutes to eat or only 15, you are getting the break if the employer tell you that you are (and, as noted, they may well be required to give you a 30-minute break). Read, go on social media, take a 10-minute nap--what you actually do during that time is up to you, but you are getting the break.


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