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NYS Meals , Deductions, and a few other ?

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  • NYS Meals , Deductions, and a few other ?

    Im not sure if i should go to the DOL So would like your opinions

    Meal break matters have been brought up many times and still the Location
    (company) think they can just deduct the time from the employee.

    I witnessed with my own eyes one of the managers changing a few
    employee’s meal break hours from .00 to .50 taking there hours worked away
    from them.

    From my research on this matter, New York State Law states that the
    Company must “ALLOW” the Meal break period. This law does not state that
    the employee must take the meal break. Nor is there a direct company policy
    that we have to take it.

    We are constintly told this is a State Law that we have to take this break.

    Most of the employee’s schedules are set up in 8-hour days, with the total of
    hours for the week at the end (40). there is no time stated when to take a
    break nor does a manager tell us when to.

    We are scheduled to work 40 hours and if we take the meal breaks we
    Loose 2.5 hours of work.

    Also taken from the New York State Labor Laws is the following.
    What deductions can my employer make from my wages....

    From the above I conclude that changing my hours from what is stated in
    the time clock computer without my permission is a violation of the above
    law also.

    Now the company wants use to sign off on the time deduction for the meal
    period nd I was call into the office refusing to sign off because I didn’t take
    the meal break provided.

    We had another brief discussion on this matter and the manager still insists
    that its a state law that I have to take the meal break. I still disagree, As
    the above law does Not mention employee at all.

    I do understand that this could be made a company policy that employees
    are required To take breaks and the manager or person in charge of the shift
    can tell me to go take my break, this does not happen.

    The reasioning behind all this is that the location has gotten burnt by a X
    employee going to the DOL saying the company didnt give them a meal break.

    Some employee worked as a sales cleark and the shift worked there is no
    relief person for the meal break so they normally eat at there work counter
    and get paid for that time.

    The probem is that the managers pitch a fit when you want to be relieved
    for your break and they have to find someone to come in for it.

    your opions and suggestions ?

    Another question

    Travel Away from Home Community: Travel that keeps an employee away
    from home overnight is travel away from home. Travel away from home is
    clearly work time when it cuts across the employee's workday. The time is
    not only hours worked on regular working days during normal working hours
    but also during corresponding hours on nonworking days. As an enforcement
    policy the Division will not consider as work time that time spent in travel
    away from home outside of regular working hours as a passenger on an
    airplane, train, boat, bus, or automobile.

    Can some one decode this for me ...

    sometimes i have to go out of state for training classes that last 3 to 5 days
    we are set up in motel rooms we have to share with other employees from
    other locations that have to go to this training also.
    wifes / girl friends / soon to be wifes cant go becouse this is company training.

    My question is , are we supposed to get paid just for 8 hours a day while we
    are there at training class or for the whole time were are there.
    say 5 day class ... 40 hours paid or 120 hours ? + travel down and back
    minus travel time from home to normal work place.

    The company requires us to use our own car/truck to go and does pay
    XX cents per mile and also $25.00 a day for meals.

    Thanks for your time.

  • #2
    State law requires that you be granted a meal break. Since there would be nothing stopping you from failing to take the break and then complaining that you were not granted one, it is the company's right to insist that you take it whether you want to or not. In fact, since it is your employer, not you, that sets your hours, they can require you to take a break regardless of whether a state law even exists. The bottom line is that if your employer wants you to take a lunch break, you take a lunch break. Period. It is his opt, not yours. There does not have to be a formal, written policy for this to be true.

    However, you must be paid for all the time that you actually work. If you do not take the break, you must be paid for it; however you can be disciplined in any other fashion up to AND INCLUDING termination for failing to take the break as required. This applies regardless of whether anyone comes up to you and says, Joe, take your break now. You know the employer wants you to take it; you are responsible for taking it.

    An employee who has a break deducted from his wages when he did not actually take the break can file a complaint with the state DOL. ONLY the employee who actually had their hours adjusted can make the complaint. You cannot do it on their behalf.

    There is NOT a law that says an employer cannot make changes to an employee's time card, EVER. There are circumstances in which it is legal. For example, if the employee logs in at 7:45 but then spends 15 minutes hanging up his jacket, getting coffee, putting his lunch away, checking his personal e-mail, making plans with a coworker to meet for a beer after work, and finally at 8:00 starts work, the employer could LEGALLY change his time card to show an 8:00 login.

    When an employee is entitled to be paid for travel time is set by both Federal and state law. Both Patty and Beth are better at these calculations than I am so I will let them respond to that part of your post.
    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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