Can an employee opt out of a required lunch break by signing a formal document?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an employee opt out of a required lunch break by signing a formal document?

If an employee works 6 hr or more, a lunch is then required by law. Is the employee able to opt out of taking this lunch break if they deem it would interrupt their work performance and quality of work? Is this possibly by the company providing a form they can sign with any specific details to support their choice?
We have over 10 employees and at times our employees may also work a swing shift or night shift where they desire to push though work to get done as soon as possible to either get home or simply go to bed.

Asked on July 15, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, your non-exempt employees cannot waive their lunch/meal break unless 1) there is a union contract (collective bargaining agreement) which modifies what they get for a break, or 2) they are tipped food and beverage servers. 
If they are exempt (from overtime) they are not required to get a break.
Here's a link to a helpful OR government webpage on the subject:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption