Question:  We have couple of employees who work eight hours per day.  Currently they take a one hour meal period after working four hours.  Is it permitted if they take a 30 minute meal period and then end their day 30 minutes earlier?  The employees would prefer to do this.

Answer:  Yes, this would be permitted as long as the meal periods begin before the end of the fifth hour of work (4 hours and 59 minutes) and are duty-free.  The meal period in/out times must be recorded on the employee’s time record.

It is important to note that the paid 10-minute rest breaks may not used to allow employees to arrive late or leave early and they may not be combined with meal periods.