Can my job make me take a 40 min. Lunch break?

I am currently only getting 24hrs per
wk, and my job has informed me that we
have to take a 40 min. break every day.
I normally work full-time, but due to
hurricane Harvey they are making us
watch the bldg while it goes through

Asked on October 18, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can: your employer, not you, decides the hours you work and can tell you to go off the clock for 40 mintues each day for lunch or otherwise. During that time, you have to be free to leave the location (even if it's just to go take a walk) and cannot be required to do any work whatsoever: if you are restricted to the work site, or doing any work (including just "watching" the location) this likely will still count as work time (i.e. have to be paid) because the employer is still directing you what to do during that time.

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