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Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

1099 meal breaks 

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Level 15

Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

Each state has labor laws that protect employees. They may specify things such as hourly wages, breaks, meals, and how to handle meals when the employee does not clock out for the meal.  For example, at my employer, it is assumed that every employee working more than a certain shift will have a 30 minute meal break, and if they don’t clock out for the meal break, it is automatically deducted unless their manager performs an override. 


 However, if you are receiving a 1099-MISC form, then you are an independent contractor; you are classified as self-employed.  You may work for one particular client but that client is not your employer.  And, you are not covered by any of the legal protections offered to employees. Your relationship with your client is determined entirely by your contract. If your contract says that you will be paid a certain amount per day even if you work through meal times, then that is what you get. 


 It is also possible that your client has falsely categorized you as an independent contractor when you are actually an employee. Whether you are a contractor or employee depends on many factors including the financial relationship between you and the employer, the amount of control they have over your work hours and working conditions, and other factors. 


If your duties and relationship are those of an employee,  then by classifying you as a contractor, your employer is cheating you out of some taxes, and they are denying you many employee benefits that may be required by state law. There can be substantial penalties for an employer who mis-classifies their employees as contractors.  You can file a form SS-8 with the IRS to have them review your situation. You may also have an avenue of complaint through your state labor board. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

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11 Replies
Level 15

Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

A worker receiving a 1099-MISC is an independent contractor, not an employee, and usually have no worker protections similar to the protections that cover common law employees who receive a W-2 and other state-required benefits.  

Please clarify your question.  
*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
New Member

Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

I work as an 1099 employee I didn’t tale a lunch break but two were deducted from my pay ... can that be done by the employer? Can i ask that a break not be deducted when i didn’t take one or how does that go meal breaks and 1099 employees
Level 15

Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

Sorry, but mean breaks for things like lunch are not a qualified business deduction any way you look at it. Never have been either. A man's gotta eat. But the IRS isn't going to pay them to do so.
Level 15

Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

If you are getting a 1099Misc you are NOT an employee--you are an independent contractor.  If the person/entity you are working for is not paying you for the time you work, then your problem is with them.  <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2584365-am-i-an-employee-or-an-independent-contractor">https://ttl...>
**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Level 10

Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

I believe you have an issue that you need to address.

As a 1099 contractor, as noted above, you are not an employee.  That means that the company technically has no say in when or how you perform your job.

Having said that, if you turn in let's say 8 hours, then that company must pay you for 8 hours.  If the company is attempting to dictate that you must take an hour lunch, then the company is treading on thin ice between the lines of employee and independent contractor.

The issue here is as follows:
1) You can meet with the company and inform them that what they are doing is not correct
2) If you do meet with them, you need to be aware that they may terminate your "job" due to the fact that you are questioning their "policy", however, once again, you are not an employee.
3) You can meet with an attorney to get this resolved, but you will most likely face the same outcome as item 2 above.
4) You can switch "jobs"
5) You can continue working there knowing that what they are doing is not technically correct, but you enjoy the job and the pay.
*A reminder that posts in a forum such as this do not constitute tax advice.*
Level 15

Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

Back when I was working as a W-2 employee, my employer "required" me to take 30 minutes for lunch, and I was not paid for that 30 minutes. I was on a time clock, and all employee were automatically clocked out at their designated lunch time, and then automatically clocked back in. One reason for this, is because state law dictated that if an employee worked more than 6 hours in a day, then a 30 minute lunch break was required weather the employer or employee wanted it or not. If the employee chose to work through that lunch break, then that was the employee's choice to work while not being paid.
Level 10

Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

???  This individual is NOT an employee as you were in the example.
*A reminder that posts in a forum such as this do not constitute tax advice.*
Level 15

Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

Each state has labor laws that protect employees. They may specify things such as hourly wages, breaks, meals, and how to handle meals when the employee does not clock out for the meal.  For example, at my employer, it is assumed that every employee working more than a certain shift will have a 30 minute meal break, and if they don’t clock out for the meal break, it is automatically deducted unless their manager performs an override. 


 However, if you are receiving a 1099-MISC form, then you are an independent contractor; you are classified as self-employed.  You may work for one particular client but that client is not your employer.  And, you are not covered by any of the legal protections offered to employees. Your relationship with your client is determined entirely by your contract. If your contract says that you will be paid a certain amount per day even if you work through meal times, then that is what you get. 


 It is also possible that your client has falsely categorized you as an independent contractor when you are actually an employee. Whether you are a contractor or employee depends on many factors including the financial relationship between you and the employer, the amount of control they have over your work hours and working conditions, and other factors. 


If your duties and relationship are those of an employee,  then by classifying you as a contractor, your employer is cheating you out of some taxes, and they are denying you many employee benefits that may be required by state law. There can be substantial penalties for an employer who mis-classifies their employees as contractors.  You can file a form SS-8 with the IRS to have them review your situation. You may also have an avenue of complaint through your state labor board. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

View solution in original post

Level 10

Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

Not sure the company is "cheating" them out of some taxes.  They are, however, shifting the responsibility of 1/2 of the FICA onto the individual.
*A reminder that posts in a forum such as this do not constitute tax advice.*
Level 15

Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

Unemployment insurance, family leave, workers comp, other state mandated benefits.  Plus the worker is getting cheated out of half their FICA unless they got a bump in gross compensation.  
*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
Level 15

Can meals automatically be deducted from hourly 1099 employees If none were taken

See this from the IRS <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/independent-contractor-self-employed-o...>
*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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