Archives: Meal and Rest Breaks

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New York Department of Labor Issues Emergency Minimum Wage Regulations Regarding Home Healthcare Attendants, Controverting Recent Appellate Court Rulings

Citing the need “to preserve the status quo, prevent the collapse of the home healthcare industry, and avoid institutionalizing patients who could be cared for at home,” the New York Department of Labor (NYDOL) has issued emergency regulations to ensure consistency with longstanding opinion letters issued by the Department and to clarify that time spent … Continue Reading

Pump the Breaks: Employers Cannot Bypass Obligation to Compensate Employees for Short Rest Periods

Refusing to compensate employees for short breaks is prohibited by the FLSA, the Third Circuit has confirmed. Thus, an employer’s “flexible time” policy, under which employees were not paid if they logged off of their computers for more than 90 seconds, fails to comply with the Act when employees take breaks of twenty minutes or … Continue Reading

Washington Supreme Court Clarifies State Meal Break Requirements

Under Washington State’s meal break statute, an employer must provide an employee working five or more consecutive hours a 30-minute meal period, although employees may waive the meal break under state law.  In answering questions certified to it by a federal district court, the Washington Supreme Court first explained that the statute does not provide … Continue Reading

Corrections Officers’ Pleading Did Not Establish That County Was “Primary Beneficiary” Of Unpaid Meal Period

Time spent by employees in meal and other breaks continues to prompt litigation against public and private sector employers. In a recent decision, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that corrections officers at a Pennsylvania prison failed to allege a violation of the FLSA by challenging the County’s failure to compensate them … Continue Reading

Washington’s Highest Court Rules Piece Rate Compensation Does Not Satisfy Rest Break Pay Requirement

Like all compensation methods, piece rate compensation plans – under which an employee is compensated based on the number of “pieces” he or she generates or completes – must be analyzed for wage-and-hour compliance. For example, under federal law, minimum wage generally is due for all hours worked, and there are recordkeeping obligations, although some … Continue Reading

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rejects Claim That Union Could Not Waive Paid Meal Period Rights On Behalf of Members

Unionized employers often enter into agreements with employees regarding compensation for particular hours or break periods. These agreements are reached through bargaining for the mutual benefit of the employer and union members. At times, such agreements can potentially be in tension with Department of Labor regulations regarding hours of work and break periods. The Wisconsin … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Judge Rejects Contract Claim for Meal Period Pay

Hospitals and other medical service providers continue to face waves of wage-and-hour claims concerning meal break practices, with non-exempt care providers alleging that they were unable to take unpaid meal periods, or that those meal periods were otherwise compensable.  A new decision from Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rejects a … Continue Reading

California Intermediate Appellate Court Reverses Ruling Finding “On Call” Rest Breaks Violated State Law

Confronting a novel issue of state law in the wake of the California Supreme Court’s 2012 decision addressing California’s meal-and-rest break requirements, an appellate panel of the California Court of Appeal’s Second District ruled that a security firm did not violate rest break requirements where its security guards were “on call” during the required rest … Continue Reading

Missouri Court Finds Trial Necessary To Resolve Whether Break Time Is Compensable Under Missouri Law

Per FLSA regulations, break periods between 5 to 20 minutes generally are considered compensable.  29 C.F.R. § 785.18.  While state wage-and-hour laws typically borrow extensively from the FLSA’s regulatory framework, a new decision from a Missouri Federal Judge highlights that many of the vagaries of state law are unsettled or unclear, rejecting Plaintiffs’ motion for … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court: Employee Provided Time and (Private) Place to Express Milk Has No Claim Under the FLSA’s Nursing Mothers Provision

In 2010, the FLSA was amended to require covered employers to provide a time and place for nursing mothers who are non-exempt employees to express breast milk. In the first appellate decision interpreting the provision (29 U.S.C. § 207(r)(1)), the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruled that an employee who was afforded both … Continue Reading

USDOL Issues Guidance On Employers’ Obligation to Provide Breaks to Nursing Mothers

As previously reported here, the recent Health Care Reform legislation includes a provision, which became effective immediately upon passage of the Act, requiring employers to provide breaks for employees to express milk for nursing children.  The USDOL issued a fact sheet this week explaining its view of an employer’s obligations under this enactment.  The highlights … Continue Reading

Time to Eat? Health Care Employers Should Make Sure There Is

Over the past year or so, employers in the health care industry, particularly in the Northeast, have been – and continue to be – targeted in a number of lawsuits alleging improper payment of hours worked by their hourly employees. Specifically, these lawsuits allege that certain health care facilities automatically deducted time for meal breaks, … Continue Reading
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