Ask the Experts: Reimbursing Employees

Ask the experts

Question: How do we reimburse staff that “forgot” to take lunch and how can we make sure this doesn’t happen again?

Answer: When an employee “forgets” to take (or properly record) his or her lunch, the employee must be compensated. If you have a policy requiring that all hourly (nonexempt) employees take a specific period of lunch daily and that the employee is responsible for punching in and out (or otherwise recording time taken) daily, you may consider disciplinary action up to and including termination for failing to follow wage and hour requirement policies as stated in the employee handbook. Consider sending a memo to all employees notifying them that any future incidents will result in corrective action. It will then be important to follow through with immediate action when an employee does not properly take lunch or use the stated time recording procedures.