This is a new thread as to not confuse the thread I originally posted this on. Here are 2 posts that I had made there:
This is in Ohio. I work midnights for hotel H. I have previously worked for hotel C and hotel D, all midnight shift, and they paid the employee 8 hours for being on the clock 8 hours.Glob wrote:
There was an understanding at hotel C and hotel D that since there was nobody to relieve you for your break, when you took your lunch break, you might have to stop eating and answer the phone or check a guest in/out.
At hotel H, for the first year and a half employment, this was also the case (work 10p to 6a and get 8 hours pay). The hotel was purchased a bit over a year ago and the new owners are now forcing EVEYBODY to take the 30 minute unpaid break for hours worked over 6 hours.
On the midnight shift, there are 2 people working, so the person on break could have the duties taken over by the person not on break, but we also offer 24 hour van shuttle rides to the local airport.
When I talked to my manager about the event of being on break when a van ride was requested (or a rush of people coming in), he told me that I'd have to come off break and work, that later, I could try to make up the time that was interrupted.
I told him that if they were now forcing me to take 30 minutes of non pay, that I would sit in my car and read or listen to the radio.
He told me that I could not do that, that I had to be reached for emergencies.
I told him that it was not right, and possibly illegal to make me work for no pay.
Now the question: Is he right? Can they make me be available during my (now mandatory) 30 minute lunch break?
Is Ohio one of the states lets an employer and employee waive the 30 minute unpaid break?
According to thisGlob wrote:
Federal law does not require lunch or coffee breaks. However, when employers do offer short breaks (usually lasting about 5 to 20 minutes), federal law considers the breaks work-time that must be paid. Unauthorized extensions of authorized work breaks need not be counted as hours worked when the employer has expressly and unambiguously communicated to the employee that the authorized break may only last for a specific length of time, that any extension of the break is contrary to the employer's rules, and any extension of the break will be punished.
Bona fide meal periods (typically lasting at least 30 minutes), serve a different purpose than coffee or snack breaks and, thus, are not work time and are not compensable
No states except those on this chart have laws requiring a meal break, if I'm reading that correctly. Ohio isn't on that chart.
And finally according to 29 CFR 785.19 - MEALS
(a) Bona fide meal periods. Bona fide meal periods are not worktime.
fide meal periods do not include coffee breaks or time for snacks. These
are rest periods. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for
the purposes of eating regular meals. Ordinarily 30 minutes or more is
long enough for a bona fide meal period. A shorter period may be long
enough under special conditions. The employee is not relieved if he is
required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while
eating. For example, an office employee who is required to eat at his
desk or a factory worker who is required to be at his machine is working
while eating. (Culkin v. Glenn L. Martin, Nebraska Co., 97 F. Supp. 661
(D. Neb. 1951), aff'd 197 F. 2d 981 (C.A. 8, 1952), cert. denied 344
U.S. 888 (1952); Thompson v. Stock & Sons, Inc., 93 F. Supp. 213 (E.D.
Mich 1950), aff'd 194 F. 2d 493 (C.A. 6, 1952); Biggs v. Joshua Hendy
Corp., 183 F. 2d 515 (C. A. 9, 1950), 187 F. 2d 447 (C.A. 9, 1951);
Walling v. Dunbar Transfer & Storage Co., 3 W.H. Cases 284; 7 Labor
Cases para. 61.565 (W.D. Tenn. 1943); Lofton v. Seneca Coal and Coke
Co., 2 W.H. Cases 669; 6 Labor Cases para. 61,271 (N.D. Okla. 1942);
aff'd 136 F. 2d 359 (C.A. 10, 1943); cert. denied 320 U.S. 772 (1943);
Mitchell v. Tampa Cigar Co., 36 Labor Cases para. 65, 198, 14 W.H. Cases
38 (S.D. Fla. 1959); Douglass v. Hurwitz Co., 145 F. Supp. 29, 13 W.H.
Cases (E.D. Pa. 1956))
(b) Where no permission to leave premises. It is not necessary that
an employee be permitted to leave the premises if he is otherwise
completely freed from duties during the meal period.
So, now it comes down to this:
(1) The federal law doesn't mandate or specify a meal break, and if Ohio law doesn't either, then it is up to the employer to give a 'bona fide meal break'
(2) The period of the break can be any time, but typically 30 minutes. Does that mean the employer can say you get 10 minutes unpaid meal break? I'm a bit confused on this, or what a special circumstance is as referred to the first quote.
(3) The employer can specify you stay on property during your meal break but only if you are completely relieved of duty and not interrupted to do work. Does this mean you can refuse to work during your meal break if asked?
(4) Who specifies the work break hours? Can the employer specify when you take your meal break?
Thanks again in advance for any advice and for any points of reference to law that I can research.
Sorry for the unintentional hijacking
Unhappy Night Auditor