In a lot of industries, it’s fairly common for there to be automatic break deductions, usually these are for half hour or an hour and supposedly these are for your meal breaks. Now, there’s nothing wrong with an employer making those automatic deductions for around the amount of time that you’re supposed to get for your meal break so long as you are actually able to get the meal break.
Now, if instead you are generally required to work straight through lunch or don’t ever get an opportunity to take those meal breaks then your employer may be making impermissible deductions. Now, of course the employer should know about it in some way so if there’s a policy that says that you’re required to report that you worked through lunch then you should follow it. But a lot of times these deduction issues can get fairly tricky so it’s important to talk to somebody to figure it out.
Now, breaks generally have two main types under the law. There are these meal breaks that are 30 minutes or an hour long that the employer is not required to pay you for. The other kind of break time issue that comes up is that generally speaking breaks for under 20 minutes, so a five minute coffee break or a ten minute phone call that you need to make for a personal reason, generally your employer should not deduct that time it should be compensable.
So those are the two main ways that employers can mess up getting employees paid the proper break time amounts.