I worked a 40 hour week but only get 35 hrs

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I worked a 40 hour week but only get 35 hrs

Employees were recently informed there
would be no more overtime. My scheduled
hours are 9to 5. Upon checking my time
card A 1 hour lunch every day I worked
was put on my time card even though I
did not take more than 20 minutes for
lunch per day and did mot take any other
breaks. Is this legal for my rmployer to
do

Asked on October 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you were told or made aware to take an hour lunch or that you were being given an hour lunch and would not be paid for it, then the employer does not need to pay you for it: your employer, not you, determines what hours you should, can, or may work, and you may not work more ours than the employer authorized. So if they have indicated that you will only be paid for 35 hours per week and get a one-hour lunch per day, then the do not have to pay you during that lunch hour and can pay you only for 35 hours if they choose.
If the employer did not tell you to not work during lunch hour or that you could only work up to 35 hours per week, then they must pay you for all work you actually did (in this case, 38 1/3 hours, based on what you write; 9 to 5 each day, less 20 minutes for lunch) and, if they do not, you may file a complaint with your state or the federal department of labor and/or sue (such as in small claims court, as your own attorney, or "pro se) for the money.
The employer may refuse to authorize or allow overtime; that is legal.


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