Can my employer make me take a company issued cell phone on my lunch break?

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Can my employer make me take a company issued cell phone on my lunch break?

I am in Colorado. State law says ‘The employees must be completely relieved of all duties and permitted to pursue personal activities to qualify as a non-work,uncompensated period of time.’ Meaning it’s my time not company time but my manager insists that I have to take the company cell phone with me on my lunch breaks and to me that falls into the ‘When the nature of the business activity or other circumstances exist that makes an uninterrupted meal period impractical, the employee shall be permitted to consume an on-duty meal while performing duties.’ Can you clarify?

Asked on February 21, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can make you take the company cell so you can be contacted: employers can require that employees remain in contact. However, if you are called and have to work at lunch, that turns lunch, or at least that portion of it when you are responding to calls, working, etc. into paid work time, not unpaid lunch time.


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