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  • Lunch Breaks

    I am working for a tax prep company. Our employer has decided to deduct a lunch break from everyone who is working for 6 hrs or more during tax season. This is being done even though we are not allowed to shut down the store and leave for this break and not allowed to bring food in to eat at the store locations. During our busy season we were working all shifts with no lunches or breaks at all, some days more that 10-11 hours at a time.

    We're being told that now it is slow that we should be taking a lunch, however, the majority of locations do not have more than one person working at a time, therefore are not allowed to take a lunch. Also, we have not been paid the extra time for working through lunches (since the "lunch" periods have been deducted from the payroll)

    What recourse do we have?

  • #2
    The laws on lunch breaks are state specific. What state are you in?
    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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    • #3
      We're in California.

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      • #4
        Ah, big problem for the employer.

        Here are the laws about rest breaks and meal periods in California. You can file a complaint and claim for unpaid wages (for the meal periods you were deducted for, but not able to take) with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
        http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_RestPeriods.htm
        http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_MealPeriods.htm
        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
          That's what I thought. Thank you very very much for your help.

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          • #6
            You're welcome.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              Lunch break

              I currently am working part time in the state of Oklahoma for a major airline. I work 30 hours a week and up until last month I was scheduled for 5 six hour shifts whith a paid 30 min. lunch break. Now my manager is having us work the same hours, but is not paying us for the lunch. Essentially I am losing out on 2.5 hours of pay every week. I have not been able to find any law on this in my state. Do you know what the laws are regarding this in Oklahoma? Thank you in advance

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              • #8
                Per federal DOL, Oklahoma has no state specific lunch rules.
                http://www.dol.gov/esa/programs/whd/state/meal.htm

                Per federal rules, your employer must pay you for hours worked and has no legal requirement to pay you hours not worked. If your employer was previously paying you to eat lunch and not work, this was not a federal or state imposed legal requirement. Unless you have a contract or collective bargining agreement with this language, you would seem to have no recourse if the employer stopped doing something that they were never legally required to do in the first place.

                -----

                Also, in the future, could you please start a new thread with your question and not re-use someone else's old thread? Thank you.
                "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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