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May 10, 2010
Tips to Comply With Break Period Requirements

In a BLR webinar titled "Reducing Overtime Costs: What You Legally Can—and Can't—Do to Keep Workers at Their Straight-Time Rates," Laura P. Worsinger, Esq., offered some tips to help ensure compliance with break period requirements.

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Her practical suggestions are aimed at keeping employers out of legal trouble when it comes to meal and rest periods:

  • Include provisions in your employee handbook regarding meal and rest periods, informing your employees in writing that such breaks must be taken (if your company requires that).
  • Include a stand-alone acknowledgement form, similar to your at-will acknowledgement form, in which employees certify that they have read and understand the company's meal and rest period policies and that they agree to abide by those policies and take all required meal and rest periods.
  • Include a statement on employees' time sheets, which the employee signs, certifying that they have worked all hours indicated and that they have taken all required meal and rest breaks for each day worked.

While none of these methods guarantees you will not face a missed meal or rest period claim, they will provide you with the best defense possible--a record--should such a claim arise.

Laura P. Worsinger, Esq. is Of Counsel with the Los Angeles office of Dykema Gossett PLLC. She has broad counseling and litigation experience and specializes in the defense of employers in individual and class actions involving wage and hour violations, misclassification, discrimination, wrongful termination, and other employment-related proceedings. She can be contacted at lworsinger@dykema.com.

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