Does an employer have the right to not pay the employee for their breaks if they leave company property at break time?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Does an employer have the right to not pay the employee for their breaks if they leave company property at break time?

The manager of my shift makes me clock out for our paid breaks because I like going to a store that is not on company property. Can they do this to me?

Asked on August 10, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If the break is indeed a paid break as you indicate, they have to pay you for it whether you remain onsite or go offiste--it is up to you what to do on your break. You can be discriplined, even terminated, if you come back late from a break, but so long as you do not exceed the break, the company has no say over where you go or what you do, and if it's a paid break, must pay you. You could contact the state department of labor to file a complaint.

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