One of the questions we get fairly often is whether or not Chronotek can be set up to automatically deduct hours for employee lunch breaks. We know that many company policies require employees to take a 30 or 60 minute unpaid lunch break, and that these hours are often subtracted from total time worked on a daily basis. Although this is a common and entirely acceptable practice, we have decided not to have Chronotek do this deduction automatically in order to protect our clients from potential mistakes and costly litigation.
The reason for this concern? There is some controversy surrounding automatic lunch break deductions. The most recent example is a $40 Million Lawsuit Settled By Wal-Mart for this very practice. The lawsuit covered the payment of back wages for employees who had lunch breaks deducted from their hours worked without being notified. In most cases the workers were not even taking a break at all, but regardless it is required that employees be notified anytime their hours are being adjusted.
Chronotek does offer a full set of features for managing hours worked, and exporting data to payroll programs like ADP and Paychex. We simply avoid allowing automatic lunchtime deductions in order to better protect our clients from litigation like that faced by Wal-Mart.
Questions or comments on this issue? Feel free to ask and discuss in the comments section.