The famous American retailer, Forever 21, is being sued by employees in a class-action lawsuit who claim that they were neglected to pay for time worked. Five employees have alleged the retailer made them work through meal breaks and kept after store hours to check their bags for stolen goods. The damages could amount to millions of dollars seeking money for the hours they worked during breaks and off the clock. Full article: here

According to New York wage and hour laws, if you work more than six (6) hours in one day, you may be entitled to a lunch break or meal break of at least 30 minutes. Employers are not entitled to pay for his time, but an employer is not allowed to force an employee to work or allowing an employee to work during this break time. Furthermore, in all industries and occupations, employees are given an additional 20 minutes between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and for those employed on a shift starting before 11 a.m. and continuing after 7 p.m. See: http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/meal.htm#NewYork.

In addition to New York wage and hour laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is an Act that establishes standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, record-keeping, and child labor. These standards affect more than 130 million workers, both full time and part time, in the private and public sectors. As a penalty, willful violators of these rights may be prosecuted criminally and fined up to $10,000. A second conviction may result in imprisonment. Employers who willfully or repeatedly violate the minimum wage or overtime pay requirements are subject to civil money penalties of up to $1,100 per violation. See: http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/minwage.htm#EmplRights; For more information, see: http://www.dol.gov/

At Leeds Brown Law, PC, our lawyers have extensive experience in handling overtime claims and wage and hour law violations, which include violations based on meal-time policies, servicing injured parties throughout Long Island, the New York Metropolitan area, as well as nation-wide. Contact Leeds, Morelli and Brown, PC at 1-800-585-4658 for more information or for a free consultation.