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  • several questions Mississippi

    I have several questions about my employer. First off. The company clocks us out for our thirty minute lunch breaks, but we are required to stay on the premises, are not to allowed to go outside for any reason, and we have to eat the food provided for us in the dining room. Is this legal? Also, the air conditioning has been out in the building for at least a month. The temperature outside has reached a 104 degrees outside. Is it legal to make your employees work in such hostile situations?

  • #2
    Even in unpaid break situations, the employer CAN require that you stay on grounds. As far as I know, if they provide food, they can make you eat it and pay for it. Back in the day when I worked at, well, all I can say is "fast food joint", they required ee's to stay there and we couldn't bring food in--we had to eat their food... and I gained 10 pounds.

    As far as heat in the workplace, OSHA does not set any requirements for keeping the temperature at a comfortable level.

    Neither of these situations helps employee morale, so hopefully management will realize that if they want better production, they should start treating you all better...

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    • #3
      I agree with Julie. Re: the lunch breaks, my recollection is that only New Jersey and California have laws that require that you be paid for the meal period if the employer mandates that you stay on the premises.

      Hey, it's free lunch. However, you couldn't bring your own lunch?
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
        I agree with Julie. Re: the lunch breaks, my recollection is that only New Jersey and California have laws that require that you be paid for the meal period if the employer mandates that you stay on the premises.

        Hey, it's free lunch. However, you couldn't bring your own lunch?
        I think Massachusetts does that, too. CBG?
        Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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        • #5
          Not that I know of. I think one of the I states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa etc) does but I can't recall which one and to the best of my knowledge MA does not.

          I've never worked for anyplace that required an employee to stay on the premises, though, so it's possible that I just never had any need to know.
          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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          • #6
            Yes, MA law does require payment for meal breaks if the employee is required to be on premises. This was cleared up in an August 5, 2003 opinion leter from the DOS (MW-2003-008) interpreting the crossing of working time under 455 CMR 2.01 and the Meal Break Law MGL c.149, s.100 & 101. The DOS reasoned that if the employee is required to remain on site during the lunch break, then that is a "work-related duty."


            .
            This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

            This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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