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2 question's from TN

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  • 2 question's from TN

    I work in a call center for a huge cellular company. I work 9:00am-5:30pm five days a week. One of our objectives is called Compliance. This is the amount of time we are actually on the phones talking to customers. I have a 30 minute lunch hour everyday and two fifteen minute breaks. However, if I am on a call that runs into my lunch or breaks (we'll say ten minutes into the lunch/break) we are being told we can only take the remaining 20 minute lunch or 5 minute break. Is this legal?

    Another situation we have is this... I was scheduled training one day from 9:00am-1:00pm. My break was to be at 11:30am and lunch at 1:00pm. When I came into work all of us employees who had been scheduled the training were told the training was cancelled and we are not allowed to take our 15 minute break at 11:30 because it was with the training-we are only to take our 1:00pm lunch and afternoon break. I don't think either is legal, is it?

  • #2

    I couldn't find any mention of the penalties that a TN employer may face if the employee is not given the appropriate amount of time off. However, in many states, the law permits some flexibility if business conditions are such that time off is not practicable on occasion. You should check with the state:

    Tennessee does mandate a meal break but it does not require breaks. So, in answer to your second question, I believe that your employer was in compliance.
    Lillian Connell

    Forum Moderator


    • #3
      Thank you. During my search I have found out the 15 minutes breaks are legal,however, the 30 minute lunch situation is not. I have called the labor board here in TN about this also. I would think this multi-million dollar company would rather give their employers thier full 30 minute lunch rather than take a risk that someone someday may present them with a law suit.


      • #4
        TN Meals

        Let me know if the state gives the employer some flexibility, in consideration of business conditions not permitting a break ON OCCASION. Thanks.
        Lillian Connell

        Forum Moderator


        • #5
          employees interrupted meal breaks

          Hello ~
          I am an office supervisor from TN. The owner of my company gives the girls 30 minutes for lunch but, they have to answer the phones constantly during this time. Even though they do never get an uninterrupted meal time they still have to deduct the 30 minutes from thier timecards every day regardless. Is this legal or should they be paid for that half hour?
          Thank you


          • #6
            Nope, it's not legal. Unless employees are completely relieved of all duties during their lunch period, the time must be paid.


            • #7
              hmm any suggestions of how to broach the subject. Is there literature somewhere online that I could print out or some other resource to bring it to his attention? I am just trying to help my EE's get what is thiers.



              • #8
                From TN's DOL website:

                Isn't my employer required to provide breaks and a meal period?State law requires that each employee scheduled to work six (6) consecutive hours must have a thirty (30) minute meal or rest period, except in workplace environments that by their nature of business provides for ample opportunity to rest or take an appropriate break. The failure to give a (30) minute meal or rest period is a violation of State law only. There are no State or Federal requirements for additional breaks. The Federal Law does require breaks of less than 25 minutes in duration to be paid if the employer chooses to grant such breaks. Title 50-2-103 (d)

                Here's the link:


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