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On-Duty Meal Periods – Are They Legal?

On-Duty Meal Periods – Are They Legal?

By Malatesta Law on November 15, 2018

Generally, an employer cannot employ a non-exempt employee for a period of more than five hours without providing that employee an off-duty meal period of at least thirty minutes.

To be an off-duty meal period, an employee must not be required to work during this time.

There is however a narrow exception in the law that permits, in very limited circumstances, an on-duty meal period.

An on-duty meal period is permissible and lawful only if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The nature of the employee’s work prevents the employee from being relieved of all work duties during his or her meal period;
  2. The employee and the employer agree in writing to an on-the-job meal period;
  3. The written agreement states that the employee may revoke the agreement, in writing, at any time; and
  4. The employee is paid for the meal period.

If all of the above-mentioned conditions are not met and an employer requires an employee to work during their meal period, the employer is violating the law.

Reach out to our employment lawyer in Los Angeles at (424) 284-1384.

Posted in: Wage & Hour