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mandatory(or lack of) lunch break Tennessee

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  • mandatory(or lack of) lunch break Tennessee

    I have question about mandatory lunch breaks in Tennessee. (Really, it is a question for my brother, my lunch breaks are paid on company dime.) He works at an HVAC place (air conditions and heating ) as a parts counter man. His boss is pretty lazy and just dose not want to deal with the public. So he told my brother that he has to stay at the counter and work through his lunch. My brother's quote " It is not so much not eating its not leaving the building". So basically he's being kidnapped and not allowed to leave the building. He paid salary and has in the past (3 years prior) been able to leave for lunch. This is a recent change in events.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Bigcitymike

  • #2
    Also...

    He this this line in the law applies to him:

    State law requires that each employee scheduled to work six (6) consecutive hours must have a thirty (30) minute meal or rest period, except in workplace environments that by their nature of business provides for ample opportunity to rest or take an appropriate break.

    Technically there are breaks. Waiting between customers or phone calls. But if the phone can ring at anytime, Joe Sixpack customer can walk up to the counter or a company technician can approach the counter at any time. There is never any guaranteed time that "work" starts or stops.

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    • #3
      Does he get an opportunity to take a break or grab a bite while in between customers or is there a steady stream of customers?

      He is not being kidnapped. He is free to walk away or find another job at any time.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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      • #4
        ElleMD Said:
        "He is not being kidnapped. He is free to walk away or find another job at any time."

        You know that's very true. But still.


        I would imagine there is opportunity to take mini breaks. I'm wondering what an "appropriate break" is? I mean, something does not seem right. forbidding to leave the building? It not kidnapping, but borderlining blackmail. Threating his job status.

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        • #5
          Blackmail would be if they told him that they held some sort of information they had on him over his head to gain his compliance. Establishing work rules is not blackmail. The law does not require employees be permitted to leave for any amount of time during their shifts. If they locked him up in the back room after his shift was over and refused to let him go home, then you have kidnapping. Expecting employees to remain on site for their entire shift is hardly comparable.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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          • #6
            ElleMD Said:

            The law does not require employees be permitted to leave for any amount of time during their shifts.

            I guess It's because I've never worked in that kind of environment, I'm a bit shocked at that statement. Anywhere I've worked including as a teen, you were given a 1/2 lunch at the least. Depending on the time and distance to food, always determined if one was to leave for lunch. Not the employer giving their blessing.

            Too bad.

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            • #7
              Many states have different laws for minors.
              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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