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The Trump DOL’s Wage & Hour Division issued its first 2 Opinion Letters on April 12.

In FLSA 2018-19, the Trump DOL addresses whether physician-certified 15-minute rest breaks every hour can be unpaid when a non-exempt employee is covered by, and eligible under, the FMLA.

The answer, “yes.”

The scenario addressed a FMLA eligible, non-exempt employee that has a requirement from a physician to take 15- minute breaks every hour throughout the workday. Adding up the 15-minute breaks every hour over the course of an 8-hour workday cuts the employee’s actual work time down to 6 hours.

The Trump DOL reasons that since the 15-minute breaks predominantly benefit the employee—not the employer—they can be considered non-compensable.

The caveat: Many workplaces provide non-exempt employees paid rest breaks. The non-exempt, FMLA eligible employee whose physician is requiring 15 minutes breaks every hour must still receive as many compensable rest breaks as their coworkers receive, i.e., equal treatment.

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this article are intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice and should not be construed as such. Unauthorized use of the information and material contained herein is at the user’s own risk.

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