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FLSA – Lunch Break Compensation

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Rebecca Wirth v. RLJ Dental, S.C.

Case No.: 22-2122

Officials: Flaum, Kirsch, and Jackson – Akiwumi, Circuit Judges.

Focus: FLSA – Lunch Break Compensation

After she was fired, Wirth sued her former employer, RLJ Dental, S.C., for retaliation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and for violations of Wisconsin’s Wage Payment and Collection Laws. She lost the FLSA claim at trial and does not raise any issues pertaining to that claim on appeal. The sole issue for the Seventh Circuit to decide is whether RLJ violated Wisconsin law when it failed to compensate her for lunch breaks when she was admittedly not working.  RLJ was not required to compensate Wirth for the lunch periods as long as it consistently provided her with a break of at least 30 minutes. The court found that Wirth chose not to take the full lunch break even though her job duties did not prevent her from doing so “to increase her earnings.”


Decided 01/31/23

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