Hopefully an easy question, but one I am getting conflicting answers for:
(my background: I have held at least 10 full time or part time jobs in the state of Massachusetts in the past 20 years and this is the first company, which is usually very generous with its benefits, to differ in break policy. Also worked in CT and TX, which were essentially the same as "in my experience" stats below).
In Massachusetts, how many hours do you have to work to get a mandatory 15 minute break?
In Massachusetts, how many hours must you work to get a mandatory half an hour lunch break?
** this one is tricky because the way it is worded on the Mass Labor Law website it says any shift "over six hours" is entitled to half an hour break. Does this mean that if my shift is scheduled at EXACTLY six hours I do NOT get a half an hour break?
What if my six hour shift FREQUENTLY (at least 80% of the time) is extended because of low staffing or high demand? If my "six hour" shift is hardly ever six hours, but usually six and a half to eight or more, should I get a half an hour lunch then?
I only find out whether or not my shift is extended at the END of my shift, so there is not really a way of knowing ahead of time. I read alot of messages from people who do not WANT to take their break, but I DO, and I NEED to. I work at the airport! Stress central! (aaah, now you understand, right?)
This is very problematic, because the Mass Labor Law website (sponsored by STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS) and the poster that we have in our break area are TOTALLY DIFFERENT.
My supervisor said she got her information directly off of the poster in our break room and I am wondering how we have such differing "LAWS".
At our work, we essentially have three shift lengths (all of which are usually extended to a longer period of time, people constantly stay past their shift)
4.5 hours -- part time shift.
In my experience, anything 4 hours or more gets a 15 minute break (not deducted).
My supervisor says NO BREAK AT ALL. NONE.
6 hours -- part time shift (MY SHIFT)
In my experience, anything six hours or more gets half an hour break (deducted).
My supervisor says ONLY FIFTEEN MINUTES.
8 hours (or more) -- full time shift
In my experience, anything 8 hours or more gets half an hour break (deducted) and a fifteen minute break (not deducted).
My supervisor says ONE HALF HOUR BREAK, no fifteen (and that eight hour shifts are the MINIMUM of when you are even ELIGIBLE for a half hour break).
If we do not work our half an hour break, we are to tell payroll and they reimburse us. This has never been a problem. It is actually frequently the case that I do not get time to take a break anyway. I just want to be entitled to on days that the operation permits it.
But I have a HUGE problem with a six hour shift (overlaps most people's meal times) not getting a half an hour lunch break when it takes at least 15 minutes to even GET food in the airport, much less eat it.
Someone tell me an official place I can PRINT SOMETHING OUT and GET THE REAL INFO because I think that my company is being unfair and they must have ordered that "labor law" poster from some charlatan or someone who doesn't know what the heck they're talking about.
Thanks for any and all assistance you can give. You are saving many people's sanity by confirming the info I know to be true simply from working in this state (including for another much more strict airline) for so many years!!!
P.S. On the off chance that Massachusetts, land of worker, consumer, and tenant rights, actually made their rules more strict for some reason (UNLIKELY), how do I broach the subject of fair break times with my superiors? I know that others feel the same way. We don't have a union and don't want one, that is NOT an option.