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Meal Breaks, Ct Connecticut

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  • Meal Breaks, Ct Connecticut

    My employer automatically deducts 30 minutes for meals whether or not we take the break. They do it if you work 4 hours or more. Isn't that against Connecticut State Law, which requires that you work 7 1/2 hours before you must take the 30 minutes?

    Thanks

  • #2
    It is against federal law (FLSA) and there is nothing any state can do to make federal law go away.

    http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/Title_...9CFR785.19.htm
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      I guess I don't understand your answer. Is my employer in violation for automatically taking 30 minutes time away from us after 4 hours of work, whether or not we take the break? I guess we've just gotten accustomed to them deducting it after our full work day and we generally take the 30 minutes. But, Saturday I worked 5 hours and they took the 30 minutes and I didn't take the break. That's why I am asking. We work in retail.

      [QUOTE=DAW;949063]It is against federal law (FLSA) and there is nothing any state can do to make federal law go away.

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      • #4
        Your employer is not violating the law UNLESS the meal break is deducted when you didn't take it AND you don't get paid for all hours you work (I'm assuming you're a nonexempt employee; otherwise the point would be moot). The law in Connecticut doesn't say that a meal break cannot be provided if the employee works less than 7.5 hours; it just says that one must be provided if the employee works at least 7.5 hours.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          That's a little more clear. We work 8 hour shifts which means we must show 8.5 hours of time showing the 30 minutes. Most of the time we do take the 30 minute lunch but if we don't they deduct it anyway. My hours on Saturday were just to make up some time missed during the week and I did not take the meal break. I wouldn't take it during the week if there was no law that says I must. I would rather just leave earlier. The law doesn't require an employer to provide for 30 minutes under 7.5 hours of work time, right? Therefore, I don't think they have the right to impose it and deduct it after less than the legal time..
          I am supposed to approve my hours Monday and I won't I suppose because I don't agree with what they did.
          Thanks for your response..

          Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
          Your employer is not violating the law UNLESS the meal break is deducted when you didn't take it AND you don't get paid for all hours you work (I'm assuming you're a nonexempt employee; otherwise the point would be moot). The law in Connecticut doesn't say that a meal break cannot be provided if the employee works less than 7.5 hours; it just says that one must be provided if the employee works at least 7.5 hours.

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          • #6
            Partially. The employer may require a meal period not matter how few hours you work. The employer sets the work rules in accordance (hopefully) with the law. There is no law that says the employer cannot be more generous than the law requires.

            Is there a procedure in place for you to notify the supervisor that you were not able to take the meal break due to work reasons?

            Note that you can be fired or otherwise disciplined for refusing to follow the company policy for meal breaks. By the same token, if you actually worked through the meal period, you must be paid for that time.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              The only thing they told us upon hire was that it was "deducted" after 4 or more hours. They never said we "had" to take the break. While it is unusual to work a part time day, once in a while it happens. There is no policy that says anything about that. I totally understand the law and how we must take the break if we work the full 7.5 hours and we do. I didn't take the break on Saturday because I just wanted to get the work done and get out of there and because I didn't think that I was "required" to do so.

              Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
              Partially. The employer may require a meal period not matter how few hours you work. The employer sets the work rules in accordance (hopefully) with the law. There is no law that says the employer cannot be more generous than the law requires.

              Is there a procedure in place for you to notify the supervisor that you were not able to take the meal break due to work reasons?

              Note that you can be fired or otherwise disciplined for refusing to follow the company policy for meal breaks. By the same token, if you actually worked through the meal period, you must be paid for that time.

              Comment


              • #8
                The implication is that if a meal period is automatically deducted after you work four hours, you're expected to take it.

                Again, I ask, is there a procedure in place for you to notify the supervisor that you were not able to take the meal break due to work reasons, or apparently, if you choose not to? If I had an employer tell me that the time would automatically be deducted, I would certainly find out if it was OK not to take it (for any length of a shift), what I needed to do if I wanted to skip it (approval needed from supervisor?) and, if so, how I would advise that I had done so, so that the time system could be correct.
                Last edited by Pattymd; 01-27-2008, 01:09 PM.
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                • #9
                  Being in Connecticut, we do not have the option of not taking the break. We must or we are disciplined or the company could get in trouble. That's just the law. The company doesn't address "can't" or "couldn't" because really, there isn't any reason why we can't for the most part. The occassion is rare that during our normal work-day that we can't take the lunch break. There is no procedure written or implied about notifying a supervisor. As far as I know, implication or not, no company can decide to not pay for hours worked, period. I make sure I take the 1/2 hour every day but have doubts about the 4 hour thing. I worked a full 5 hours and did not take lunch because I didn't believe I had to under the circumstances and how the law reads for the state. Looking at my time sheet, it was automatically deducted. I use a PDA to "time stamp" and I can see the hours recorded.

                  Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
                  The implication is that if a meal period is automatically deducted after you work four hours, you're expected to take it.

                  Again, I ask, is there a procedure in place for you to notify the supervisor that you were not able to take the meal break due to work reasons, or apparently, if you choose not to? If I had an employer tell me that the time would automatically be deducted, I would certainly find out if it was OK not to take it (for any length of a shift), what I needed to do if I wanted to skip it (approval needed from supervisor?) and, if so, how I would advise that I had done so, so that the time system could be correct.

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                  • #10
                    I know the law. What I'm saying is, even if you work LESS THAN 7.5 hours, although the law does not REQUIRE a meal period, the employer can. I don't know how else to explain it. You THOUGHT you didn't have to when you worked less than 7.5 hours because the law doesn't require it. Obviously the employer does, and it's perfectly legal for them to do so. Just because the law doesn't require it under certain circumstances doesn't mean the company can't.
                    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                    • #11
                      Yes, I understand. I just wish I knew this before. I'll talk to my supervisor about this tomorrow. At the very least, they are not supposed to deduct time worked and probably should put some kind of policy in place.
                      Thanks for the info...

                      Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
                      I know the law. What I'm saying is, even if you work LESS THAN 7.5 hours, although the law does not REQUIRE a meal period, the employer can. I don't know how else to explain it. You THOUGHT you didn't have to when you worked less than 7.5 hours because the law doesn't require it. Obviously the employer does, and it's perfectly legal for them to do so. Just because the law doesn't require it under certain circumstances doesn't mean the company can't.

                      Comment

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