Ohio has no law requiring employers to offer paid breaks, or any breaks for that matter, to their employees. We know this may come as a shock, as it is a common misconception that employers must provide breaks during an eight-hour shift but this is simply not the case. Another common misconception is that you are entitled to a lunch break. You are not. You are not entitled to any break, paid or otherwise, as an Ohio employee. Employers may choose to offer breaks but you are not legally entitled to them. Many employers do choose to offer breaks but it is important to know, they are not legally required to do so.
In better news, federal law and Ohio law mandate that employees must be paid for each minute they spend actually working. For instance, if you are given a lunch break but you spend that time working, you must be paid for it. If you are eating lunch and not working, however, your employer can choose not to pay you for that time. Do not feel pressured or obligated to clock out and work through your lunch. If you are working, you must be paid or the employer is violating the law.
The reality of ensuring employees receive all the money they deserve for the time they spend working can become more complicated than the preceding explanation indicates. An experienced equal compensation lawyer in Columbus, Ohio, may need to file a lawsuit for a worker who believes his or her employer treated them differently from co-workers in allowing breaks or in refusing to pay for hours worked.
All Employees Must Be Treated Equally When It Comes to Breaks
Many businesses and agencies in Ohio grant employees a few breaks each workday even though no law requires them to do so. When an employer does have a policy of permitting morning and afternoon breaks and/or a 30 or 60 minute lunch period, every employee should be allowed to use those periods to step away from work.
Federal labor regulations make it clear that taking an unpaid break means that you stop actually working. If you are taking a break, you should not be working. If you are working, you must be paid. Working through a break counts as working, and an employee who does that must be compensated for the time.
Breaks May Factor Into Overtime Calculations
The employer can, and probably should, ask workers who get paid by the hour to clock out when they go on break and to clock back in when they report back from break.
Many disputes about unpaid overtime come down to whether an employee actually spent more than 40 hours per week working and whether the employer recognized that this happened. An important note in this regard is that tipped employees such as waiters, waitresses, bartenders, and hotel staff must receive overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours. Therefore, tracking breaks and shift work is especially important for people who take tips, as well as non-tipped employees.
Columbus employment lawyers at the Friedmann Firm offers free and confidential consultations, and we welcome calls to 614.610.9755. Appointments can also be scheduled online by filling out this contact form.
Rachel and Dominick were incredibly helpful throughout the entire process. They got back to me quickly, whenever I had questions, which helped me stay calm during a very stressful time. Rachel was confident in her abilities and knowledge of the labor laws, and she was able to secure a settlement for me. If you ever find yourself in a situation that requires you take action against an employer, I would highly recommend the Friedman Firm. There's no one I would recommend more to be in your corner.
If you are in need of an employment attorney, this is your sign to talk to Rachel and Jamie. Amazing!! They handled my case like the true professionals they are! They stuck to a strategy, even when it seemed like it wasn’t going our way and BAM! We get the outcome we wanted. I couldn’t be happier and I will always return to them if I EVER have an employment issue again. Thank you so much for helping me and my family!
Dedicated! Thorough! Detailed! Professional! Personable! I can keep going with the many qualities Pete and his team have. I highly recommend him!!! You won't be disappointed.
I needed an employment lawyer to work through a non compete. Pete at The Friedmann Firm was listed as one of the three best rated employment lawyers on a local website. I called him in the morning and later that night he was on the case and provided sound council through a very tense negotiation. Don’t take a chance with your career, reach out and get good council. Pete was very responsive every step of the way and delivered positive results. I highly recommend Pete and his Firm!
Rachel was top-notch from start to finish. She was responsible, professional, quick to respond to emails, texts or phone calls. She gives it to you straight, which I prefer! She thinks outside the box and is definitely the dog you want in the fight for you. She does not waste time and immediately dives right in to get the best results she can for you. I would highly recommend Rachel and her firm to anyone who wants to get the job done right, the first time, in a professional, compassionate and decisive manner.
My wife used this firm for a matter she had with her former employer. She could not have been more satisfied with their services. They were timely in responses, courteous, and very thoughtful. This was a difficult process for her and Pete made it so much easier by handling all of the details of her case.
Rachel Sabo of The Friedmann Firm believed in me when no one else did & helped me through every step of my legal process. Very happy with the firm’s professionalism & dedication to my case.
I called them with some questions about my employment and Jamie was very helpful. I didn’t need an attorney to handle a case for me - only to help me navigate an issue I was having at work. She answered my questions and I felt she truly listened to me. I’d recommend this firm to anyone looking for an employment lawyer. Thank you!
Pete resolved issues I was having with my employer in a quick and favorable manner. He is also easy to talk to and understands his clients rights AND needs. You’d do right to call The Friedmann Firm.
I had a terrific experience with Rachel. She handled my case in a very professional manner. She made herself available and always kept me updated. Her knowledge of the law is incredible. She took the time to educate me on the legal processes so I understood what was happening with my case. Thank you Rachel for helping me navigate a most difficult situation. I am so thankful to have had you as my attorney. You have my highest recommendation.