Is there anything that I can do if my manager refuses to allow employee to leave on unpaid lunch breaks except for her favorite servers?

I work at a restaurant and the staff takes a 30 minute lunch break. The employee handbook, hidden in the office, states that during our unpaid breaks we can leave the premises if we are relieved of all work duties and have turned in any company money. I’m a vegetarian, so I’m limited. I don’t want to get fired because I’m hungry.

Asked on January 30, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You could contact the state department of labor to file a complaint. If you are on an unpaid lunch break, you can leave the premises, so long as you are back by the time the break is over. If the require you to stay on site and won't let you leave, that is considered work time (even if you are not actually working) and they have to pay you for the time. So you could file a complaint for unpaid wages.

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