You aren’t the only one in your office who needs to meet deadlines. As an employer, your boss is legally required to provide you certain things within a fixed set of time. Quality of work is important, but so are your rights in the workplace.
As an hourly employee, if you work at least five consecutive hours you must receive an unpaid 30-minute meal period. This doesn’t mean you quickly chew on a sandwich while simultaneously working at your desk. You must be relieved of all duties for at least half an hour and be allowed to leave the work premises.
You are entitled to a ten-minute rest break for every four hours you work. It is your employer’s responsibility to let you know about this opportunity to recharge but ultimately it is your choice whether you take it or not. Periodic rest breaks are meant to relax you during your shift. They cannot be grouped together nor strategically used at the end of the day to leave early. Since these breaks are typically much shorter than lunch periods, your employer can require you to stay on company property.
Employees are entitled to one hour’s wages at their regular rate of pay for every day the employer fails to provide a meal period. If employees are required to remain at the job site in order to be available to wait on customers or perform other work but must still clock out for their meal periods, they are entitled to payment at their regular rate of pay for the meal period plus the premium of one hour’s pay.
Employees are also entitled to one hour’s premium pay at their regular rate of pay for every day on which they were not provided one or more paid rest periods which they did not waive. Employees may also potentially recover penalties for failure to timely pay these types of wages.