Is it legal to make people work 8 hours a day without taking a lunch break? 20 Answers as of August 13, 2012

I work 8 hours per day and I'm not permitted to take a lunch break. Also, they made us sign a waiver form to prevent us from taking our breaks even though there are two of us.

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Law Office of Charles M. Vacca Jr. | Charles Martin Vacca Jr.
Under RI general laws and Statutes, employees are warranted certain meal and work breaks. I am not sure whether this waiver is legal.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/13/2012
Fisher, Butts, Sechrest & Warner, P.A. | Matthew W. Birk
Yes it is legal, with some exceptions- e.g. interstate trucking and employees who are under the age of 18.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/13/2012
Nancy Wallace, Attorney at Law
Nancy Wallace, Attorney at Law | Nancy Wallace
Failure to provide a lunch break after 5 hours is a violation of California Labor Code 512.
There is way to 'waive' lunch and have an on-duty mealtime; maybe that's what you were 'forced' to sign (the 'forcing' part is going to be impossible to prove, of course). ? A good place to start is to hear the recorded information at The Labor Board.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/13/2012
James M. Osak, P.C.
James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
REPORT THEM TO "LARA" in Lansing, MI . . . ASAP. There are State laws that control minimum wages and breaks/lunches and such. They cannot FORCE you to waive your breaks/lunches unless you ALLOW" THEM to get away with it.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/13/2012
Atlas and Hudon, LLP | Douglas Mackubin Thomas
Generally, in Connecticut, employees working 7.5 hours or more each day are entitled to take an unpaid break of at least 30 minutes. The statute (C.G.S. Sec. 31-51ii) is specific as to its requirements. Note: your circumstances may fall under one of the stated exceptions.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/13/2012
    Law Offices of Michael N. Stafford | Michael N. Stafford
    No. Pursuant to both Federal law and California law you must be given a lunch break.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/13/2012
    KEYL ADR Services, LLC | Mark D. Keyl
    The Fair Labor Standards Act does not regulate breaks. That is a decision left to the employer.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    State labor laws require an employer to provide certain breaks during the work day depending on the hours you work. You cannot waive these rights. You should contact your state department of labor to determine the exact laws in your state. If you complain, however, you should be prepared to find a new job even though firing you for expecting your rights to be followed is illegal and could give rise to another claim.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    WILLIAM L SANDERS, ATTORNEY AT LAW | William L. Sanders
    I do not know. Likely not legal. You may contact US DEPT OF LABOR, WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Olson Law Firm | Edward M Olson
    Federal and state minimum wage laws include a requirement for breaks. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Minimum wage does not apply to everyone. There are exceptions for unions and for certain professions...like firefighters. I recommend that you call an attorney who can review your specific situation to see if there are any laws or rules that apply TO YOU.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Law Office of Robert J. Slotkin | Robert J. Slotkin
    OSHA regulations address work hours and breaks but that depends on your job duties and so you need to tell us what you are doing. If this is an office job, then no there are no laws about that.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry | Charles R. Perry
    No, this is not legal. The Labor Code says that a meal break of at least 30 minutes must be provided if the employee works more than five hours. This may be waived, but only if the employee works six hours or less. The meal period cannot be waived if the employee works eight hours in the day. If the employee is not waived of all duty during the lunch period, then the lunch period must be paid. In addition, this is allowed only if the nature of the work prevents the employee from being relieved of all their duties. But the employee must be allowed to eat during this time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Law Office of Grady G Gauthier | Grady G Gauthier
    California labor law is very protective of an employee's meal break, specifically it states: No employer shall employ any person for a work period of more than five (5) hours without a meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that when a work period of not more than six (6) hours will complete the day's work the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and the employee. Unless the employee is relieved of all duty during a 30 minute meal period, the meal period shall be considered an on duty meal period and counted as time worked. An on duty meal period shall be permitted only when the nature of the work prevents an employee from being relieved of all duty and when by written agreement between the parties an on-the-job paid meal period is agreed to. The written agreement shall state that the employee may, in writing, revoke the agreement at any time. California Code of Regulations, Title 8, 11040. The law provides the only circumstance where the meal period can be waived by the employee when the total work day is only 6 hours, and subject to a written agreement where the job does not permit a meal break. Just recently, the California Supreme Court published a decision(*Brinker Restaurant Corporation*) stating that employers are required to provide employees "off-duty" meal breaks. This is true unless all of the following criteria are met, else the employee is entitled to additional compensation for working through a meal break: (1) The employer must relieve the employee of all duty; (2) The employer must relinquish control over all activities of the employee; (3) The employer must permit a reasonable opportunity to take an uninterrupted 30-minute breaks; and (4) The employer must not impede or discourage the employee from taking their 30-minute meal break. If all of the above are met only then can an employee be deemed to have taken a break. The California Supreme Court also noted that the "wage order and the governing statute do not countenance an employer's exerting coercion against the taking of, creating incentives to forego, or otherwise encouraging the skipping of legally protected breaks." This decision also establishes that the practice of employer's having a "company policy" in their employee handbook that "permits" meal breaks will not be legal if there is an actual practice of managers pressuring employees to work through their breaks.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Fox & Fox, S.C. | Richard F. Rice
    No, it is not legal to not provide employees with a lunch break. You should contact an attorney immediately to provide all the facts regarding your situation. Or you could contact the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division, Wage & Hour Section at 608-266-6860.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Ballon Stoll Bader & Nadler, P.C.
    Ballon Stoll Bader & Nadler, P.C. | Marshall B. Belloven
    No, the statute mandates a lunch & break.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Park Law Offices LLC | Kevin Parks
    No. You should contact the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and file a report.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Bannon Mediation and Arbitration | Albert J. Bannon
    Yes it is illegal.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    There is too little information. Generally you are paid for the time you actually work, not lunch or breaks.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Leichter Law Firm, APC
    Leichter Law Firm, APC | Aryeh Leichter
    Assuming you are not an employee properly exempt from meal/rest break and overtime requirements, the waivers you signed would only be valid if all three (3) of the following requirements are met: (1) The *nature of the work* prevents you from being relieved of all duty; (2) The employee and the employer agree in writing to an on-the-job meal period and that agreement is voluntary on your part; and (3) The written agreement states that the employee may revoke the agreement, in writing, at any time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2012
    Steven Miller | Steven Miller
    Only if you are a "Non-Exempt" employee (i.e. making more than double the min wage, are a true say manager with discretion on your job, or say like a licensed person such as a lawyer, dr., cpa, etc). 90% of work force is non-exempt and are entitled to lunch breaks of 30 minutes at the 5 hour mark, so long as your shift is greater than 6 hours.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2012
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