Can an employer force an employee to take a lunch longer than 45 minutes if the employee agrees to only taking 45?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer force an employee to take a lunch longer than 45 minutes if the employee agrees to only taking 45?

This is in regards to the employee also being made to take an additional lunch per the state while working 11 am-7 pm. Can employer schedule employee for 1 hour

lunch and additional 30 minute meal period instead of the required 45 and 20?

Asked on September 27, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the employer can do this. The law sets certain minimum breaks--not maximums. The employer, not the employee, determines schedule and when and how much the employee workes. What you describe is well within the employer's authority or power, unless the employee has an actual written employment contract setting or specifying his schedule (if there is a contract, the employer must follow it).

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.

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