If You Have An Automatic Unpaid Lunch, Can They Tell You How To Spend It?

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Moe Pence Profile
Moe Pence answered
If the half hour is deducted from your pay, and you are not being paid for that time, than you should be allowed to find your lunch wherever you want to go, whether it's a lunchroom in the building, or a restaurant down the street, as long as you show responsibility in being back to work at the time you're supposed to be (as the half hour ends).  There is no reason why you have to spend your unpaid lunch hour either eating in the building or sitting at your desk doing nothing -- this is not your employer's right to tell you this, unless it was specified in your original employment contract and signed by yourself.  You might want to talk to your employer and find out WHY this rule was put into place, and what you can do to bypass it.
I wish you luck in this -- it's an odd situation, to be sure.
Moe
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jessica sorenson
jessica sorenson commented
I think this as well! And if we leave the building we are supposed to clock out, which would deduct additional time from our pay, we work 12 and a half hours and get paid for 12, it seems to me they should not be able to tell you not to go in search of edible food or to go off property and smoke.. Who would I contact about getting help with this? I don't wish to risk my job by doing what I want on my breaks, but it is unfair and I want to make sure I am protected in this!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
That seems unreasonable but each state has labor laws.  You never know what is allowed until you check it out.  Texas law say that you should have  two paid breaks during an eight hour shift and a thirty minute lunch break also paid.  Now if your employer deducts for your break or lunch time you really have no recourse.  Texas is a state  where you can fire a person for no reason.  They don't have to even give an explanation.  So if you ask a question the boss does not like, you will probably be asked to leave.  My advice to you is to speak with your HR representative.  It is the Human Relations person's job to enforce the company rules  and still build morale so you will want to work there.  Give it a try.
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jessica sorenson
jessica sorenson commented
They can fire you like that too here in Arizona. It just seems to me if they wish to dictate how our lunches are used, then they have to pay us for that time.

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