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22.0 - Automatic Meal Periods

Subject: Establishing Automatic Meal Periods

Source: Financial Management Services

Original Date of Issue: September 7, 2018

Date of Last Revision

Rationale: To establish a process for creating automatic meal periods with the timekeeping system


IUHR policy governs the timing and length of meal periods received by non-exempt employees throughout the university. To comply with the university’s responsibilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other payroll laws, it is imperative that departments ensure that employees are free from all work duties during unpaid meal periods. Departments are responsible for educating their approvers and employees regarding the rules surrounding meal periods.

We discourage the use of automatic meal periods. For a limited number of non-exempt employees who track their time synchronously and who work away from workstations or time kiosks, however, it is helpful to establish automatic meal periods in their timesheets. Kuali Time can customize the timesheets for an individual or a work area to provide for the automatic inclusion of a regularly occurring unpaid meal period.

Departments may request that University Payroll establish automatic meal periods of at least 30 minutes for specific employees or work areas. University Payroll may, but is not required to, establish automatic meal periods in circumstances determined appropriate by University Payroll. University Payroll may also review and audit existing automatic meal periods, require departments to demonstrate the continued need for automatic meal periods, and terminate such automatic meal periods as University Payroll deems appropriate.  

To initiate the creation of an automatic meal period, the departmental Fiscal Officer, HR Director, or Payroll Director must complete and submit an Automatic Meal Period Request. If University Payroll approves a request, a Kuali Time System Administrator will work with the department to establish the automatic meal period rule for the affected individual or the work area.

Once the automatic meal period is established, the department must educate its approvers and affected employees on its proper use. If an affected employee does not take a meal period, the employee’s approver must delete the automatic meal period from the employee’s timesheet to ensure the employee is properly compensated. Failure to do so could result in the underpayment of the employee and the violation of our obligations under the FLSA and other payroll laws and regulations.


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Responsible Organization: Financial Management Services