US manufacturing organisation Precision of New Hampton has been ordered to pay 150 employees $279,505 (£218,289) in back wages by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD).
The organisation was found to have deducted breaks shorter than 20 minutes from 150 employees’ pay as meal breaks. Under the Fair Labour Standards Act, organisations are required to pay for shorter breaks taken by employees. Meal breaks of 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid because employees are completely relieved of their duties during that time.
Marcy Boldman, wage and hour district director, said: “Employers must provide a minimum of 30 minutes for a bona-fide meal break if they intend to deduct the time from an employee’s time records. They must also ensure that employees do not perform work during that time.
“The Department of Labor works to ensure employers comply with federal law so that every employee receives the wages they have rightfully earned. We encourage employers to use the wide variety of tools we offer to educate themselves and to ensure they comply with the law. We invite any employee or employer to call us with questions about their rights or responsibilities.”
Precision of New Hampton was unavailable to comment at the time of publication.