Unlawful Deductions / Unpaid Breaks

Employees have rights under federal and Minnesota law for required break time. Employees also have protections against employers deducting pay from their paychecks.

Mandatory Paid Breaks

Minnesota law requires that employees receive paid time for restroom breaks if they work a shift of 4 hours or more. You must be paid for breaks that last less than 20 minutes. So, if your break is for less than 20 minutes, your employer cannot require you to clock out for it.

Employees are also entitled to a meal break if they work a shift of at least 8 hours. A meal break must be at least 30 minutes. However, employers are not required to pay for the meal break.

If your employer does not allow you to take restroom or meal breaks, you may have a claim under the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act.

Unlawful Deductions

Minnesota law prohibits employers from deducting certain items from an employee’s paycheck. Employers cannot deduct (or take money out of a check) for amounts they claim an employee owes. For example, deductions are not allowed for lost property, stolen property, property damage, or similar things. Even if you signed or authorized the deduction, it may still be void under Minnesota law. Employers generally cannot take money out of employees’ paychecks.

If an employer deducted money from your paycheck, you may have a claim under the Minnesota Payment of Wages Act. You may be able to bring a claim to recover your lost wages, statutory penalties, attorney’s fees, costs, and interest.

Contact Teske, Katz, Kitzer & Rochel to learn more.

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