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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I work in a state medical facility in Shreveport, LA and have

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I work in a state medical facility in Shreveport, LA and have been working through lunch and break times due to not enough staff available to allow for lunch at times. We have lost 5 of our 6 trained full time staff employees in our unit in the last 4 months and they have not been replaced by trained staff as of yet. I also take call which requires me to work as long as needed to care for any acute dialysis patients that need hemodialysis. I understand that in the state of Louisiana that my employer is not required to allow me a break or lunch. At least I could not find a law of such. I have worked as long as 16-17 hours with only restroom breaks and told I should be bringing snacks to keep my blood sugar levels up since I tend to become hypoglycemic at times and it is very difficult to concentrate. My question is not about being allowed lunch break. I would like to know if I worked through through these lunch times (30 min), then is my employer required to pay me for my time worked. When I addressed that my 30 min lunch time that is normally subtracted after 5 hours of work, be added back because I worked it, he gave me a hard time. He stated, "So you mean to tell me you didn't eat anything at all during these hours?" I stated no. His response, "Well, that's a long time to go without eating anything". I also worked from 9 am to 04:07 am the next morning due to scheduled shifts and being on call. I was due to be back at work for 9 am that day of the morning I worked off. I went home to get a few hours sleep, then came back to work at 02:37 pm, for which I remember clocking in. (My routine work hours are M-F, 9 am until 5:30 pm). When I got my time sheet to sign, instead of a 2:37 clock-in time, it had a 5:30 pm clock in time. When I asked about this discrepancy, he stated I must have missed clocking in and that this would have to fixed by payroll "on their end". I received my paycheck and find that evidently I have not been payed for this time because I calculate that I worked a little over 81 hours in a 2 week pay period and was only paid for 76. Please tell me is my Louisiana state employer required to compensate me for the time I worked through lunch. I am going back to see him today to attempt to fix the discrepancy on the second matter by way of a TAC form. I caled payroll and they said they do not fix these "on their end", that my supervisor has to fill out a correction time sheet.
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

The law on the issue of lunch is that the employer must pay you unless you receive a 30 minute, uninterrupted break for lunch. You must have no duties during that time for the employer to be able to not pay you for that period.

So, yes, they do have to pay you. I would work through this with the supervisor, just to make sure that this wasn't a simple error rather than a concerted effort to not pay you properly.

If the employer doesn't correct it, contact your state's Department of Labor, as this would be a wage and hour law violation.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the quick reply. I know someone else who has brought a law suit for this exact same thing except that it was a private medical business. I just wanted to make sure because he told me they don't have to give me a lunch. I just wanted to make sure I get paid for my work.

They don't have to give you lunch. That's absolutely true.

There is no law requiring that they give you a lunch period. Federal law, however, states that IF they give you a lunch period and they want it to be unpaid, it must last 30 minutes, be uninterrupted and you must have no duties during that period.

If they don't give you a lunch period, they certainly can't charge you (by not paying you) for one.
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