New NY Nonexempt Employees Must Punch for Meals in Business and at Work


As New York employers prepare for changes in the exempt salary level on both the state and federal levels, a recurring theme / learning point for new and existing nonexempt employees is the non-negotiable requirement that nonexempt employees in New York state must punch (in and out) for actual times taken for meal breaks on a daily basis as well as punching in and out for work each day.

As mentioned in a blog post from earlier this year:

In the state of New York, Section 162 of the NYS Labor Law requires that all employees – “blue collar, white collar and management” – take a minimum 30-minute meal period. This law states that “an employee who works a shift of more than six hours, which extends over the noonday meal period, is entitled to at least thirty minutes off within that period for the meal period.”

In the event of an employer audit, NYS DOL looks for several factors, including but not limited to:

  • Hourly nonexempt employees are consistently tracking their own time in and out for their meal periods;
  • All employees (especially hourly nonexempt employees) take their meal period away from their respective work stations; and
  • All employees take the required 30-minute minimum meal period.

In the event of a NYS DOL audit: how are you (and your employees) effectively tracking daily meal period punches in and out in business and at work?

Tired businesswoman sitting at the table with big clock

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