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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  14 years practicing attorney
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As a salaried employee, am I entitled to a lunch break? I Work

Resolved Question:

As a salaried employee, am I entitled to a lunch break? I Work between 12 and 15 hours a day. I will stop to eat something and maybe make a phone call but am always working. If our phone rings or a customer comes in I am right up helping.

Also we have hourly employees that sign up for work, some will sign up for 2 hours some will sign up for 10 hour shifts. I feel they are entitled to breaks and lunches?

What is the penalty for this Violation.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

Under Washington law accoding to the WA State Dept of Labor and Industries:
.
An employee is entitled to a meal break:
.

If more than 5 hours are worked in a shift:

  • Workers must be allowed at least a 30 minute meal period.
  • Workers must be at least two hours into the shift before the meal time can start.
  • The meal time cannot start more than five hours after the beginning of the shift.
.
However, an employer is not required to pay the employee for a lunch break by law unless:
,
  • They are required or allowed to remain on duty.
  • They are required to be on-call at the business premises or designated worksite to be available to return to duty even if they are not in fact called back to duty.
  • They are called back to duty during their meal period even though they normally are not on call during the meal period.
.
If an employer is violating this law, the employee can file a formal complaint with the Dept of Labor here:
,
http://www.lni.wa.gov/WorkplaceRights/ComplainDiscrim/WRComplaint/default.asp
.
The employer can be subjected to monetary fines for violating the employee's rights.
.

.

.

Thanks.

Barrister

.

Please keep in mind that I am trying to help you understand and resolve your situation. I don't make the laws, I am just reporting or interpreting them, so the outcome may not be what you had hoped for.

.
Please be patient as I am typically working with several customers at any given time. Some answers take 5 minutes, some 35 minutes, depending on the level of complexity. But rest assured, I will get back with you as soon as I am able.

.

If you need additional clarification on this question, just click "Reply" and I will be happy to help you. Please give me as much detail as you can so that I can respond after receiving all the relevant details.

.

Please be aware that I am not entering into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. With that in mind, please do not post any specific information you do not want available for public viewing. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 23003
Experience: 14 years practicing attorney
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