Big Price to Pay for Meal Break Violations

Written by Robert G. Brody on October 15, 2009

In our fast-paced world, some employers may be tempted to ask employees to work through lunch to meet assignment deadlines, sales numbers, or production quotas. In many states, however, allowing employees to skip state-mandated meal breaks may prove to be a costly decision. It certainly was for Walmart, which just agreed to pay Massachusetts $3 million to settle the State’s allegations that the retail giant failed to properly comply with Massachusetts’ meal break law.

According to the Massachusetts Attorney General, an investigation began after workers complained they were required to work through meal breaks, were given meal breaks shorter than 30 minutes, or were not given meal breaks after working six hours, as required by law.

This is another reminder that as states and federal agencies continue to step up enforcement efforts, employers who are out of compliance, with even some of the seemingly “minor” employment laws, may face major penalties.

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with state and federal employment laws including wage and hour laws. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at or 203.965.0560.


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Related Topics: Wage and Hour

About the Authors

Robert G. Brody is the founding member of Brody and Associates, LLC. He has been quoted and published in national publications and appears as a guest T.V. commentator on contemporary Labor and Employment issues. Learn More