Wyatt Employment Law Report

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Kentucky Court of Appeals Holds that Plaintiffs Have the Burden of Proving Missed Meal Breaks

By Mitzi D. Wyrick

In Hisle, et al. v. Correctcare – Integrated Health, Inc., Ky. App. (June 12, 2015), the Kentucky Court of Appeals addressed the issue of what test applies when employees claim to have missed meal breaks.  Plaintiffs, who were nurses and medication aids employed at a prison, sued under the Kentucky wage and hour laws alleging that they were denied rest and meal breaks and were therefore entitled to additional compensation.  PB&JPlaintiffs based their claim on the fact that they had to carry or monitor a handheld two-way radio while working inside the prison facilities, including during their 30-minute lunch breaks, which were automatically deducted from their time.

The trial court held that merely monitoring the radio during meal breaks did not amount to a denial of a meal break if employees could comfortably and adequately spend their mealtime and their time was not devoted primarily to official responsibilities.  At trial, the plaintiffs claimed that Continue reading