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Break and meal ?'s for Nys

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  • Break and meal ?'s for Nys

    I work in a clothing store part-time plus and my normal shift is 5pm -10pm I was told by managment that I am allowed an 15 min paid break. But I often do not recieve my break because there is no one to cover me for a break. When I brought this to my managers attention I was told that it is not a reguired break and that I will have to deal with that, because the bussiness comes first. I'am also 5 mos pregnant (managment knows) and I often have to use the restroom and once again I can't because there is no once to cover the sales floor. What are my rights?

  • #2
    From NY's DOL website:

    Time allowed for meals
    Every person employed in or in connection with a factory shall be allowed at least sixty minutes for the noonday meal.

    Every person employed in or in connection with a mercantile or other establishment or occupation coming under the provisions of this chapter shall be allowed at least thirty minutes for the noonday meal, except as in this chapter otherwise provided. The noon day meal period is recognized as extending from eleven o'clock in the morning to two o'clock in the afternoon. An employee who works a shift of more than six hours which extends over the noonday meal period is entitled to at least thirty minutes off within that period for the meal period.

    Every person employed for a period or shift starting before eleven o'clock in the morning and continuing later than seven o'clock in the evening shall be allowed an additional meal period of at least twenty minutes between five and seven o'clock in the evening.

    Every person employed for a period or shift of more than six hours starting between the hours of one o'clock in the afternoon and six o'clock in the morning, shall be allowed at least sixty minutes for a meal period when employed in or in connection with a factory, and forty-five minutes for a meal period when employed in or in connection with a mercantile or other establishment or occupation coming under the provision of this chapter, at a time midway between the beginning and end of such employment.

    The commissioner may permit a shorter time to be fixed for meal periods than hereinbefore provided. The permit therefore shall be in writing and shall be kept conspicuously posted in the main entrance of the establishment. Such permit may be revoked at any time.

    In administering this statute, the Department applies the following interpretations and guidelines:

    Employee Coverage. Section 162 applies to every "person" in any establishment or occupation covered by the Labor Law. Accordingly, all categories of workers are covered, including white collar management staff.

    Shorter Meal Periods. The Department will permit a shorter meal period of not less than 30 minutes as a matter of course, without application by the employer, so long as there is no indication of hardship to employees. A meal period of not less than 20 minutes will be permitted only in special or unusual cases after investigation and issuance of a special permit.

    One Employee Shift. In some instances where only one person is on duty or is the only one in a specific occupation, it is customary for the employee to eat on the job without being relieved. The Department of Labor will accept these special situations as compliance with Section 162 where the employee voluntarily consents to the arrangements. However, an uninterrupted meal period must be afforded to every employee who requests this from an employer.

    Not all possible meal period questions can be anticipated and, therefore, these "Guidelines" may not cover all situations that might arise. For additional information or assistance, contact the nearest office of the Division of Labor Standards.


    Based on the above, since you're not working six or more hours, it doesn't appear that you have to be provided a break at all.

    I'am also 5 mos pregnant (managment knows) and I often have to use the restroom and once again I can't because there is no once to cover the sales floor. What are my rights? You have the right to be treated the same as any other employee. That means that if they don't make special provisions for non-pregnant employees to use the restroom when they are working alone, they don't have to do so for you. However I've never known any pregnant women who haven't had to use the restroom more frequently than usual, especially in the latter months of pregnancy. Is there some sort of arrangement or compromise that can be reached between you and management? Obviously they're not going to bring in a second sales associate just so you can go to the restroom (that would be cost-prohibitive) so what ideas have you presented to your supervisor on how to handle the situation?

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