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Employees Must Be Paid for Short Breaks


Employers in Pennsylvania should take note of a recent decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled in favor of several employees who claimed they did not receive any compensation for short breaks lasting beyond 90 seconds.

The Fair Labor Standards Act distinguishes between paid rest periods of 20 minutes or less, and unpaid meal periods of 30 minutes or more. To ensure compliance, employers must compensate employees for breaks. If employers are not paying for meal periods, they should make sure employees are given at least 30 minutes and perform no work during their meal period.

– Elaina A. Smiley, Meyer Unkovic & Scott

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