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Automatic Deductions Of Pay For Meal And Rest Breaks Not Taken

Breaks are a critical part of the workday.

By law, employees are entitled to meal and rest breaks. Prohibiting employees from taking breaks during their shifts can be dangerous, as accidents are more likely to happen when workers are fatigued. Additionally, employee morale can suffer when employees are not allowed to take regular breaks.

Many employees in New York are unaware of their rights when it comes to meal and rest breaks. Employers are required to meet the state laws regarding meal and rest breaks for employees. But these laws are confusing and complex.

Understanding New York Meal And Rest Break Laws

Federal law does not require employers to provide meal and rest breaks for employees, but New York law does.

New York law differentiates between factory and non-factory workers when it comes to meal and rest breaks. For example, factory workers are entitled to more time off for meals and rest than non-factory workers. But the law protects all employees, regardless of whether they work in a factory or not, or in the public or private sector.

In New York, with a few exceptions, employees who work six hours or longer are entitled to a lunch break of 30 minutes between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. An employee may be entitled to an additional rest break depending on the employee's work hours. Factory workers are entitled to 60 minute meal breaks and additional breaks under certain circumstances.

Despite these requirements, employees often do not take their lunch or rest breaks, or only take a portion of those breaks. Yet employers often automatically deduct one hour per day from an employee's paycheck, even if the employee did not take the full hour. This is unlawful, since employers are required to pay employees for their work, and may only deduct pay for time actually spent on a break.

If you are a New York employee who is working through all, or a portion, of your meal or rest breaks without pay, you may be eligible for compensation. Talk to an attorney from our firm who can evaluate your case and advise you of your legal options.

Contact Us Regarding Meal And Rest Break Violations

State employment laws relating to meal and rest breaks are complex. Our staff will listen to your story and advise you of your legal options.

Complete our online contact form or call 212-460-0047 to schedule an initial consultation. We are located in New York City, and we represent clients in all boroughs, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County and its surrounding areas, and northern New Jersey.