Labor Law Information Resource Center
Lunch Meal Break Monitor Alerts
➮ What is a lunch break?
➮ What is a rest break?
➮ Is a lunch break considered paid time or unpaid time?
➮ Working through lunch should you get paid?
➮ How to record early return before taking the full lunch break?
➮ Restricting employees from returning early from lunch.
➮ How to monitor lunch breaks?
➮ State labor law rest break requirements table
➮ What is a split shift - learn the labor law
Meal break is an important time for employees to relax and energize themselves so they can be more productive within their work place. The task of ensuring employees properly take their scheduled, full lunch break can be a challenge for employers. Shift2Work provides the solutions you need to keep your employees on schedule to avoid unnessary overtime.
How Shift2Work Monitoring Alerts Can Help
What employers should do:
Communication of company policy is key. Employees should be made aware of their options and responsibilities in this regard.
Consider doing the following:
- Provide employees with a written company policy manual.
- Thoroughly explain its contents in a new employee “orientation meeting.”
- Have employees sign and date a receipt for this manual, certifying that they have read & understand it. Keep the receipt in company personnel files.
- Regularly discuss company policies about this issue and others in weekly/monthly staff meetings
Shift2Work Lunch Break Monitoring System can help employers:
- Our Lunch Monitor Alert automatically detects & displays colored highlighting in Reports when the following three events occur. With this information, managers/supervisors can take remedial action if required.
also provides employers a way to restrict employees from returning early from lunch. This feature sets a Minimum Lunch Return time
that runs between 50 – 100% of their allowed lunch time.
A. Example with a 30-minute lunch break and Lunch Return setting of 50%, an employee can clock back in from lunch after 15 minutes. The remaining 15 minutes of time is considered work for which the employee is paid.
B. Example: A 30-minute lunch with a 100% Lunch Return setting means employees must use their entire 30 minute lunch break time for something other than work. No time is left from lunch for which an employee would be paid.
With this setting enabled in your Shift2Work account, whenever an employee tries to clock back in too early from lunch, a message will appear acknowledging that an employee’s lunch break time has not yet completed and they can clock back in to work at the time displayed.
- He was not paid for a 30-minute meal break that he says he did not take
- He did not receive payment until more than a month later
Article: California Supreme Court Rules on Employer Meal and Rest Break Obligations
Subject: Lunch Policy
Synopsis: On 12 April 2012, in Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court (CA) the court ruled that an employer’s obligation is to relieve its employees of all duty during meal periods. Employers are not required to ensure that no work is done.
Employees can use the lunch break for whatever purpose they desire, and the first meal break must occur no later than five hours into an employee’s shift. Employers are not required to schedule meal breaks at five hour intervals throughout the shift.