What are the rules when it comes to requiring employees to take a lunch

Can an employer in Kentucky tell you that you have to take a 30 min lunch. If you do not take a full 30 min lunch but come back to work in say 20 mins, but they still take a full 30 mins from you is that OK?

Asked on October 12, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that it's the employer who sets the conditions of the pwrkplace, not the worker. Therfore, a company can set meal/break times so long as such times do not violate state law. Accordingly, absent the terms of an union agreement or employment contract to the contrary, you do not have the right to work during the 30 minute that has been set for your lunch break.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an employer can require you to be off the clock for 30 minutes for lunch. The employer, not the employee, sets hours and schedule: you cannot work when the employer says you should not. So whether you eat, take a walk, surf the web or social media, etc. is irrelevant, but  in no case can you start working, and start being paid, before the employer says you can.

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