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Nurse - Lunch Breaks Tennessee

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  • Nurse - Lunch Breaks Tennessee

    My wife works for a very large hospital in Tennessee. The hospital is currently staffed (or not staffed) to the point where she must choose between taking a lunch break and administering proper care for the patients assigned to her. Most days she has no opportunity for lunch during her 8 hour shift.
    The management knows that she is unable to have a lunch break. The official (verbal) word is that people should take lunch.
    The number of nurses on the floor is kept at a level that, due to patient safety, does not allow her to have a lunch break. These decisions seem to be made to save $$.
    Agency nurses could be contracted (for example) but they are more expensive than employees.
    The choices that we see are:
    > leave a job after 20 years
    > take a lunch break and possibly harm patients (loss of the patient's life, loss of license, litigation from patient)
    > continue working 8 hours without lunch.

    Each day this happens, she notes this on the time sheet exception log and is subquently paid for the missed lunch.

    Are there other options that we have missed???? Advice??

  • #2
    (h) Each employee must have a thirty (30) minute unpaid rest break or meal period if scheduled to work six (6) hours consecutively, except in workplace environments that by their nature of business provide for ample opportunity to rest or take an appropriate break. Such break shall not be scheduled during or before the first hour of scheduled work activity. (paragraph 3(h))
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