A security company required that its employees travel to a designated break location at lunchtime, substantially eating into their 30-minute lunch break. The Fifth Circuit reversed summary judgment for the company on FLSA claims, reasoning: “Unlike a requirement that the employee stay in uniform, or even one that may result in the employee having to perform a duty on rare occasions, a jury could find that preventing the employee from eating—ostensibly the main purpose of the break—for twelve out of thirty minutes during every break is a meaningful limitation on the employee’s freedom. The travel obligation thus cannot be deemed a mere ‘inconvenience’ as a matter of law.” Naylor v. Securiguard, Inc., No. 14-60637 (Sept. 15, 2015). Whether the “40 percent rule” carries over to other areas of summary judgment practice remains to be seen, but Naylor still stands as a cogent and highly readable review of a basic part of the modern workplace.
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