When a person gets a lunch break, can they do what they want with such time?

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When a person gets a lunch break, can they do what they want with such time?

My wife works for a medical supply company. Her district manager,comes in once a week (sometimes unannouncedwhich is fine) and insists that her and the other workers go to lunch for a meeting. At timest times it is OK but sometimes she needs to take care of personnel business. This is her time not his. And she is not payed during the meeting.

Asked on October 22, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Is your wife an exempt employee (ineligible for overtime) or a nonexempt employee (gets overtime)? And furthermore, is she paid by a salary or an hourly wage? An employer can set an employee's hours, however:

1) If she is salaried and exempt, she has no recourse at all; salaried exempt employees can be made to work any hours their employers want.

2) If she is salaried but not exempt (note: while all hourly personnel get overtime, with a *very* few exceptions for certian specific industries, it is possible to be paid a salary and still be eligible for overtime), then she can be made to attend the meeting and not be paid more--unless the extra meeting time pushes her over 40 hours for the week, in which case she needs to get overtime for hours over 40.

3) If she is an hourly employee (and therefore also nonexempt), if she attends a meeting, she needs to be paid for the time working--and mandatory meetings are work-- including overtime for any hours over 40.


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