Are meals and breaks benefits or requirements when it comes to payroll solutions?
If you are like most employers, you graciously provide your employees with a period for lunch; even more, an extra break period to rest throughout the day (coffee, snacks). However, are you simply being generous or is this required by law?
The Fair Labors Standards Act (FLSA) does not mandate an employer to provide employees with lunch or coffee breaks; however, should you choose to give your employees a lunch break you are required to pay employees whose break last between 5-20 minutes.
Should you allow your non-exempt employee to take a lunch break greater than 30 minutes please ensure they are not performing any type of work duties – covering the phones, answering questions, waiting on deliveries, checking work email etc.
Otherwise, you are obligated to compensate them for their lunch break. As a precaution it is recommended to have your non-exempt employees step away from their work area and have a designated space for breaks.