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Breaks, on call shifts and schedule posting Colorado

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  • Breaks, on call shifts and schedule posting Colorado

    I have several questions about several of the practices of the owner of the restaurant I am employed by.

    First, the owner of the restaurant has never given a break of a single employee in my time of employment. It is stated in the pre-employment contract that upon request a break "may" be given, but that an employee may not leave the restaurant and that an employee may not smoke on a break. Can an employer dictate what an employee may do or where they may go on a break?

    Secondly, my employer schedules most employees an "on call" shift in which if needed they are required to be there. The policy is that the employee call in 2 hours before the scheduled shift to find out if they are needed. Several times the owner or manager is not there to make the decision and has called me or another employee, often with less than an hour notice and told them they have to be there on time anyhow. What is the legality of on call shifts and what if any notice is required.

    Lastly, my scheduled work week runs from Sun-Sat but my employer does not post the schedule until Friday, often the end of the day Friday. The schedule is kept in a locked office that often times, especially on the weekends, no one has access to unless the owners or a manager are present; which is surprisingly rare. What are the laws regarding posting of a schedule and any requirements of advanced notice?

    If any of these are violations of the Colorado labor law can you please reference a location I may find proof thereof and possibly the articles and or code they violate?

  • #2
    Under CO law, an employee who works 5 or more consecutive hours is entitled to a 30 minute meal break. If the employee is not free to engage in their personal activities, it cannot be an unpaid break. FYI, there are no circumstances where an employer is required to allow you to smoke on the premises, although you cannot be fired for smoking on your non-work time. CO law also requires a paid, ten minute rest break for every four hours or major fraction thereof.

    "On-call" status is legal in all 50 states. DAW or hrforme may know more, but if there are any laws dictating to the employer how much notice they are required to give an employee before telling them they have to come in, I have never heard of them.

    No law in any state dictates to the employer when they are required to post a schedule.
    Last edited by cbg; 03-07-2015, 02:16 PM.
    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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    • #3
      There is no magic number about required on call minutes. There were several SCOTUS decisions that say "all factors" must be examined. I can say that there are several interesting police officer cases that think 15 minutes is important, but those are not SCOTUS decisions and have no particular weight outside their jurisdiction.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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      • #4
        Just to clarify. Are you saying that there is no law that prohibits an employer from posting a schedule or changing one 10 minutes before it takes effect?

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        • #5
          Correct - that is what cbg was saying. There is no law though it's possible, for example, that there could be a CBA stating that so much notice must be given.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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          • #6
            There are no laws regarding the posting of schedules, period.
            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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