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Thread: Need help with meal break room laws California

  1. #1
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    Default Need help with meal break room laws California

    Hi all! I'm in a bit of a bind, and it will take a few paragraphs to explain the whole situation, hopefully there is something that will resolve my issue .

    For the past 2 years now I have worked at a casino in California. I won't go into all the details on the gambling laws in the state, but there is a law that took effect a long time ago in where games of "chance" or where the house has the advantage are not allowed. Thus people have created games like blackjack in where every player has the chance of being the "house" (taking the bank is the term), thus each player will over have an equal chance of winning and losing, the casino is just there to provide the enviroment of a casino. This works around the law, thus allowing casinos to be in california (that are not Indian reservations).

    Now this is where my job comes into play, as I do not work for the actual casino itself, I work for a company that has a contract with the casino. Our job is to follow the "bank" on all the tables, and always cover all the action of the bets, thus we act like the house, but we are actually represented as a player that is simply banking all the time on the table. So we are not casino staff in the sense, we simply work with the casino to provide funds in which players can win/lose on their bets.

    During the past two years (and the many others that the company I work for has been made), the company would pay for our meals from the casino menu, thus everyone would get food from here, and we would be provided with an area to eat the food at. The food would be ready for us (provided by a server) and everyone received a 30 minute meal break. This all worked out perfectly well, no one had to bring in food, thus we never had the need for an area to store any food, it was being provided to us as a perk.

    Well unfortunately, due to the recent state the economy has been, the amount of players and the amount of money that is earn has gone down, thus the company had to stop paying for our meals in order to prevent people being let go. This occurred around a month ago.

    The problem is that we do not have any kind of break room in which to store any food, or any way to heat food. What is worst, is that we can not even bring in food into the casino, it is not allowed due to the casino's policy, of no outside food being brought in. Unless you go through an employee check route, which we are not allowed to go through since we are not employee's of the casino, we are of a different company that just works in the same area.

    Our supervisors tried to get it to where we could use the break room that the dealers use, but the casino said it was a no go due to it already being too full by their own staff. Our only options are to either

    1) Order off the menu in the casino and pay with our money

    2) Drive somewhere outside in order to get food within our 30 minute meal breaks (they are unable to make it an hour meal break from what I understand due to how they had scheduled people to be on the tables, we simply don't have enough employees to have 1 hour meal breaks)

    3) Eat food that you brought with you in your car, and eat it in your car since there is no where else to really eat it.

    The issue is really bad for those of us that work the graveyard shift, some from 10 pm to 6 am, only a few places are open at that hour. From what I have found in regards to california meal break laws, the requirement is 30 minutes for 5 hours of work.

    The only thing I could find is this that may apply to the graveyard situation:

    (F) If a meal period occurs on a shift beginning or ending at or between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., facilities shall be available
    for securing hot food and drink or for heating food or drink, and a suitable sheltered place shall be provided in which to consume
    such food or drink.

    You can find this at http://www.dir.ca.gov/IWC/IWCArticle10.pdf

    Now I am not sure if the fact that we can order from the casino meets the requirement of "securing hot food and drink" or not. As for the suitable sheltered place for eating, we do have an area we can eat at, we just can't bring food in .

    That's about it overall, if there is any information that can help this situation, I would really appreciate it, and if anything is unclear, please ask and I will be happy to clear up what is needed, thanks!
    Last edited by Nobuko42; 03-20-2009 at 10:55 AM.

  2. #2
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    Does the area allow you to eat food bought at the casino but not food brought in from home?
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  3. #3
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    The obvious other question is what type of casino. If this is located on an Indian Reservation that there is some question as to whether or not state specific law (CA in this case) even applies. While federal law normally applies on reservations, state law is a lot less certain.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
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    To Patty: You can eat food that you buy from the casino, but not food you bring from home, due to the fact that we are not allowed to bring in food into the casino itself.

    To DAW: It is not an Indian Reservation, it is a California Card Club.

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    You can contact the DLSE for confirmation, but I don't think there is a law prohibiting them from not letting you bring food in.
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    Alright, well first what is DLSE? I am new to the forum here.

    Also secondly, not sure if you missed it from what I mentioned, I had found this, I will copy it again:

    (F) If a meal period occurs on a shift beginning or ending at or between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., facilities shall be available
    for securing hot food and drink or for heating food or drink, and a suitable sheltered place shall be provided in which to consume
    such food or drink.

    If this does somehow apply to my situation, what would be the best course of handling this? I don't want to be "there is this law" to my supervisor and risk there being some kind of negative result for me bringing it up. If it has to do with contacting the DLSE, how do I contact them, whatever they are, lol

    Edit: I found this also posted on http://www.laborlawtalk.com/showthread.php?t=194149

    the last paragraph of the post is the same of what I had found
    Last edited by Nobuko42; 03-21-2009 at 02:09 PM.

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    The DLSE is the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement - California's DOL (Dept. of Labor).

    Your being able to buy food/drink at the casino might meet the requirement as a place to secure food/drink.

    You can contact the DLSE & verify. Here is a link to their site.

    http://www.dir.ca.gov/DLSE/dlse.html
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    That's what I said (well, kinda).
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    I know but OP came back again with another post & asked the same question(s) again.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

  10. #10
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    And you expect people to actually read your responses?

    People do whatever people do. Put the response out. People read it or not. Agree with it or not. Either way, you have done what you can. Trying to make other people do what you expect them to do is wasted effort. Easier to teach your cat to fetch the paper.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAW View Post
    Easier to teach your cat to fetch the paper.
    I should try that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAW View Post
    And you expect people to actually read your responses?

    People do whatever people do. Put the response out. People read it or not. Agree with it or not. Either way, you have done what you can. Trying to make other people do what you expect them to do is wasted effort. Easier to teach your cat to fetch the paper.
    Well, I didn't want to ignore their post and they did ask what the DLSE was which wasn't answered previously. (or maybe you were talking to Patty)

    My dogs don't even fetch the paper.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty3 View Post
    ... (or maybe you were talking to Patty)
    Yes, I was talking to Patty although I should have made that clear. Sorry about that.
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  14. #14
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    That's ok. I figured that out now. My ego was thinking everyone was talking to me.
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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