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Illinois smoke breaks/possible discrimination

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  • Illinois smoke breaks/possible discrimination

    I know that IL only provides for the lunch period after 71/2 hrs worked...my situation is this: the company allows for paid breaks, 2 15 minute breaks, however if you chose to smoke on your break and you are an hourly employee you must clock out. If you chose to clock out and smoke on your break you are then not entitled to take a 15 minute paid break. Again, this is only for the hourly employees. Salaried employees can take as many smoke breaks that they want and not clock out for them. Is this legal? I would think that this would fall under some form of discrimination at the very least. Although I am a non-smoker so this is not an issue for me, I don't see the fairness in it.

  • #2
    While I am not saying I necessarily agree with the policy, smokers are not a protected group under either Federal or Illinois law so it is not illegal to refuse breaks to smokers while allowing them for non-smokers. It is also legal to allow salaried employees unlimited breaks while limiting them for non-exempt employees.

    Federal law says that while breaks are not required, if an employer chooses to provide breaks any break of under 15 minutes must be paid.
    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
      how many smoking breaks allowed in retail /gas marts

      how many smoking breaks allowed for an hourly and salary paid employees with eight hours shift? and should they be paid or not?
      Last edited by jack4459; 07-24-2005, 01:03 AM.

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      • #4
        Smoke breaks are not required by any Federal law or by the law of any state.

        If an employer chooses to provide smoke breaks, they should be paid IF they are less than 20 minutes long. However, there is no legal obligation on the part of the employer to ever provide a smoke break, regardless of whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt.
        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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