when are employees "off the clock"

I have been paying employees when they take a break or to have lunch.
Again, some take an hour lunch, and long breaks, as long as I am paying.

Where do I draw the line ? To fair to them and me too. ?

I want to be as flexible as possible, so if we are not busy, they can take a longer lunch.
What are the rest of ya’ll do on that time thing ?

This information doesn’t answer your question of what other operators are doing, but the information is relevant!

According the the Department of Labor web site, there are no federally-mandated meal or rest breaks. If you offer rest breaks for employees (5-20 minutes) those must be paid breaks. Meal breaks (30 minutes or more) are not required to be paid.

Here is the reference: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/workhours/breaks.htm

Individual states have mandated breaks, but Arizona does not.

Reference: http://www.dol.gov/esa/programs/whd/state/meal.htm

Now back to our regularly scheduled program…

I have the employees use the break function on my POS. If they go over the allowed break they are not paid for the time they are over.

Same here - My POS is set up to follow the law, and my workers all know it. It is a PAIN, but they are entitled (required) to take a 15 minute paid break if working a short shift, and must take an unpaid “lunch” if they’re working a longer shift.

Find out your state law and follow it. Otherwise, someday an employee will leave angry, and go to the labor department. They’ll fine you TONS of money and make you back pay everyone overtime for every break they ever skipped, etc.

My shop rushed like there was no tomorrow. Based on how hard everyone worked and the incredible team work and spirit, I never gave this a thought. However, I never noticed any abuse of time. I guess it is training issue as opposed to a compensation one.


wow …paid breaks! where can i sign up?

Hello Otis, We never established a ‘break’ time at my place if we get some down time when were all preped up I let them relax.As far as lunch goes as soon as our rush is over I entice them to go sit and eat something one at a time.Most times they never even do.As long as they do things as a team it works out great.


I’m just sayin…you might BE signed up, and just waiting for some ex-employee to cash his/her chips. Check with state labor laws…

As a general rule 10-15 minutes for 4 hours of work it comes into play more on child labor laws I tend to run a take 5-10 when things slow down for a bit. but that depends on business of each restaurant.