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Can my employer prevent me from eating? North Carolina

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  • Can my employer prevent me from eating? North Carolina

    My employer has decided we may not purchase food from the restaurant I am employed by while on duty. That is fine with me. I started packing a light lunch or snack such as a sandwich or a yogurt. After he seen others began doing the same he then decided we were not allowed to eat at all, and then proceeded to start throwing employees food away. The reason for the store policy was to keep people from making a mess and leaving it for others to clean up. I do not mind being told I can not eat if I only work 4 or 5 hours. On days I work 8 to 10 hours I feel my blood sugar drop (I am border line diabetic). Also, this employer cooks himself a full meal and takes it to his office and eats, and so do the other managers. My question is do I have the right to consume food? By the way we do not receive breaks. Thank you in advance for any advice you may be able to provide.

  • #2
    Unfortunately, your state of North Carolina has no laws requiring rest breaks or meal periods. I know this sounds icky, but are there snacks you can put in your purse or pocket (do you have a locker you can lock?) and snack briefly on restroom trips? You do have to be allowed "sufficient" time to use the restroom during your work day under OSHA regulations.

    It's possible that your medical condition MIGHT fall under the ADA, whereby a reasonable accommodation would be to allow you short breaks to eat something.

    Another responder will be able to provide more direction regarding possible accommodations under the ADA, assuming that the employer has at least 15 employees.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      While I agree with everything Patty says, I am going to give a slightly different answer.

      Your employer is an a******. Do not quit, but start shopping for a better employer. Sometimes the only real cure for a bad employer is to go somewhere else.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DAW View Post
        While I agree with everything Patty says, I am going to give a slightly different answer.

        Your employer is an a******. Do not quit, but start shopping for a better employer. Sometimes the only real cure for a bad employer is to go somewhere else.
        I don't disagree with what DAW said either.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          FYI, I do not know if this is the case in NC, or in your town, but in some juristictions there are health laws regarding food being brought into a place where food is being prepared, such as a restaurant.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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