Is my boss legally able to require us to take an hour unpaid break for only working 60 minutes?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is my boss legally able to require us to take an hour unpaid break for only working 60 minutes?

We’ve always been able to a 1/2 hour break for working 6 hours and 1 hour

for 8 hours. Now, all of a sudden, she is requiring us to take an hour long break for working just 6 hours. Is this legal for her to do? She is only doing it so that she doesn’t have to pay us the extra half hour.

Asked on February 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer may do this: an employer has the right to reduce hours worked for any reason (unless there is a written employment contract to the contrary), including to avoid paying for extra time, and the employer may make the reduction at any point during the day, including in the form of extending the lunch hour.

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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