I work in a devops-like role in Colorado. My manager recently let us know that he wants everyone on the team to be taking a one-hour unpaid lunch break every day so that we each span 9 hours of coverage (we are not required to be in the office or available during our one-hour break, and there is no clocking in/out). Prior to this I had been working through lunch so that I only had to be in the office for 8 hours, which is preferable to me.
- Can a manager legally mandate a one-hour unpaid break every day?
- If so, can this be enforced verbally only? (I.e. my manager has not written down this policy anywhere, he has only told us about it, and it was not part of my offer letter or anything else I signed.)
- What legal recourse does my manager have against employees who ignore this verbal mandate and stay in the office 8 hours, working through lunch?