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Can't leave the building? Virginia

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  • Can't leave the building? Virginia

    I work for a retail company on an overnight shift. I was told that when we clock out for our 30 min lunch break, no one may leave the building for any reason whatsoever. The only time anyone can leave between 10pm and 4am is if we're leaving for the day, or if the supervisor approves it. Is this illegal? To keep everyone restrained within the building while being clocked out for lunch? I wasn't required to sign anything stating that I was okay with that.

  • #2
    It is in most every state. And it's probably for your own safety as much aw anything else. The only issue is if you have to get PAID for your meal period under these circumstances and my understanding is that Virginia does not require it.

    Besides, where are you going to go in 30 minutes at 1 in the morning?
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    • #3
      I just hate the idea of having to work at the fast pace we do and then not being able to have a cigarette and just the idea of keeping people locked in a building while not paying them for lunch just bothers me. It just doesnt seem right. I can understand the safety issue but theres all sorts of other buisnesses around who let their employees out at night and if they're so concerned with safety, why not make us go out in pairs? Anyways, thank you for the quick reply!


      • #4
        Massachusetts requires that you be allowed to leave the premises during an unpaid lunch break or be paid for it. California may, too, but I am not sure. Both those states, and a very few others, require lunch breaks. My state (Maine) requires lunch breaks, but the employee does not have to be allowed to leave the premises, even though they are not paid for the break (I don't have to be that much of a Scrooge, but the law allows it).

        The only way to change the law is to lobby your elected representatives.

        Good luck on that in a state that does not now require breaks of any kind.
        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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