Company policy allows employees to take a 15 minute break during each half of their shift. The policy also states that this break cannot be taken in conjunction with your lunch (to essentially extend your lunch period). Would it be considered appropriate to take the break 30 minutes before lunch or is that too close? In this situation the employee will typically run and grab their lunch from a local food establishment so they have food for their actual lunch period.

  • 2
    Could go either way, ask your manager.
    – Myles
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 17:17
  • Generally you are expected to stay on site for your 15 minute breaks. Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 20:01
  • 15 minutes is not a lot of time to grab a lunch and come back unless the food establishment is really close to your workplace. Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 3:12

1 Answer 1


In my opinion (and were I your manager) I would see what you described as being in conjunction with your lunch. You are in fact extending your lunch period, you're just not doing it contiguously. Moreover, your break would be taken for the express purpose of getting your lunch.

Also as a manager, that would leave a bad taste in my mouth about the person doing it because it's clearly trying to get around the intent of the policy (which is that you take a break apart from lunch) on a technicality.

But yes, you need to talk to a manager of yours or HR. We can only speculate.

  • 1
    I don't really see how it'd be wrong. Unless there is a stipulation as to how your break can be taken, as to whether you can go off site, etc. How would it be any different if you did this, or took it 2 hours before lunch, and went and grabbed something and put it in the fridge for lunch? Unless it's in your employee handbook, you can do what you will with your break.
    – New-To-IT
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 18:21
  • That's why mentioned getting around intent with a technicality. Also, most employee handbooks having wording that permits the company to make policies in addition to what's in the handbook. It's always better to work with intent. You don't want to give the impression as someone who tries to find loopholes rather than continuing what was intended. Were I the manager and someone did that, I'd say "Fine, have it your way" and put in writing a detailed policy saying when and where you can have your breaks to prevent future issues in that regard.
    – Chris E
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 18:35
  • This reminds me of a former co-worker who asked if she could leave early if she only took a half hour instead of an hour for lunch and then she left to go get lunch for her half hour lunch, but ate it at her desk without working during what was really her work time (and took an hour at it) and then left early. She didn't last too long when people caught on.
    – HLGEM
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 20:55

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