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No Lunch or Restroom Breaks! Help!

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  • No Lunch or Restroom Breaks! Help!

    Good afternoon,

    I am a Test Proctor for a Career College in Los Angeles California, I have held this position for the last year, yet I have been with the company for going on 3 years.

    My job is to oversee a four section computer based exam, giving assistance as needed an assuring that the examinee are not cheating or in need of assistance.

    The testing sessions in which I proctor are not timed. The examinees are allowed to take as much time as they need to complete all four sections of an exam that has 55 questions in each section.

    These sessions last from 4 to 5 hours sometimes, during which I am not allowed to leave the testing lab.

    I am not given a break for the restroom, I am not given a break for lunch, I am expected to sit inside of the testing lab and proctor this exam until the last examinee has completed regardless of the time that they finish.

    When the testing session ends I am to report to another part of the school were I oversee a typing lab of students learning professional typing skills.

    Some days I work 9 to 10 hours and on Thursday of each week I am to email my supervisor and notify him of exactly how many hours I have worked for the week so far so that I deduct from that the number of hours I am to work on Friday.

    Please, if there is anything you could do to assist me I would be greatly appreciative, I have spoken to my supervisor about how I need to be able to go to the restroom and take breaks and I was told that they will work on that yet a solution was never found.

    I am afraid of loosing my job, I have a wife and 3 kids to support but I do feel that due to the fact that I was once a student of this school that they are taking advantage of my and my need of employment.

    Thank you for you time!

  • #2
    restroom breaks

    For every 8 hours you work you are entitled to 2 15 minute breaks and half hour for lunch and of course, restroom whenever you need to go! And yes, they are taking terrible advantage of you...they have no need to "come up with a solution" they need to follow and abide by the laws as noted below...notice, there ARE no rules about restroom breaks! When you have to go, you GO!

    Rest Periods, Meal Breaks, Days Off From Work,
    and Maximum Hours
    Copyright © 1996-2006. Ethan A. Winning. All Rights Reserved.


    Members' Benefits Subscribe to ewin.com The Bulletproof Employee Handbook Buy Labor Pains in PDF Format Chapter 1 from Labor Pains Members Articles
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    Over the past nine years, the second most "popular" subject on this web site has been rest periods and meal breaks.

    This will be a shorter paper than you might expect: only seven states have statutes regarding breaks, and astonishingly there is no federal law on either break or meal periods. I know, I know: one would think that rest periods would be covered by some law since (at least to me) there is a safety issue as well as just some common sense management practice that would say that employees need breaks in the day.

    To be fair (sort of) there are 17 states which do have meal period laws, but these average 25 minutes...barely enough to eat... (See below.)

    Okay, here is a list of the eight states with laws pertaining to rest breaks:

    BREAKS:

    California: Employees must get a 10-minute break for every four hours worked provided that the work day is at least five hours long.

    Colorado: 10 minutes for every four hours worked.

    Kentucky: 10 minutes for every four hours worked.

    (Maine: 30 minutes after six hours of work which may also be used as a meal period. See below.)

    Minnesota: "Reasonable" amount of time in a four-hour period "to use the restroom."

    Nevada: 10 minutes for every four hours worked.

    Oregon: 10 minutes for every four hours worked.

    Washington: 10 minutes for every four hours worked.

    That's it. Note that there may be special laws pertaining to specific industries in all states, e.g., mining in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, or factory work in New York and Massachusetts. And there certainly are child labor laws encompassing breaks and meal periods, i.e., minors working in the motion picture industry in California. However, I was not able to find any statutes or work orders.

    Payment for Break and Meal Periods: Under 29 CFR 785.18 (Code of Federal Regulations) breaks of five to twenty minutes must be paid by the employer while, for a meal period to be unpaid, has to be at least 30 minutes uninterrupted by work. Note again, however, that federal law does not mandate breaks or meal periods.


    MEAL PERIODS:


    CA = 30 minutes if workday is 6 hours or more (See California Employer's Bulletin for changes)

    CO = 30 minutes. If workday is at least 5 hours. (Until 2004, it was 6 hours.)

    CT = 30 minutes after 7 and 1/2 hour workday.

    DE = 30 minutes after 7 and 1/2 hour workday.

    HI = 45 minutes, but only for (state?) government employees.

    IL = 20 minutes after 7 and 1/2 hour workday.

    KY = "Reasonable" amount of time for meal breaks.

    ME = 30 minutes after 6 hours of work.

    MA = 30 minutes after 6 hours of work.

    MN = "Sufficient time" in an 8-hour work period.

    NE = 30 minutes between noon and 1 P.M. in workshops, on assembly lines, or "mechanical establishments."

    NV = 30 minutes for every 8 hours of work.

    NH = 30 minutes for every 5 hours of work.

    NM = 30 minutes.

    NY = 45 minutes, retail; 60 minutes, factory.

    ND = 30 minutes for work period over 5 hours.

    OR = 30 minutes for work period of 6 to 8 hours.

    RI = 20 minutes for 6 hours of work.

    TN = 30 minutes for every 6-hour work period.

    WA = 30 minutes for every 5-hour work period.

    WV = 20 minutes.

    WI = 30 minutes for workdays of 6 hours.

    WY = 60 minutes for employees who must work on their feet.




    States in which employees must receive one day off from work out of every seven (essentially, one day a week):

    California
    Illinois
    Maryland
    New York
    North Dakota
    Rhode Island
    Virginia
    Maximum Hours and Employee Can Be Made to Work

    One would think that there would be many state labor codes which restrict the number of hours that an employee could be forced to work in a workweek. The only state in the country with a maximum number of hours for the average employee is California -- 72 hours. Most other states do have some regulations regarding maximum hours for child labor, or specific industries such as trucking, farming and agriculture, and a few for health care, but only California has addressed the problem for non-specific occupations.

    Federal law regarding maximum hours is found at Sec. 7.(29 U.S.C. 207) and really only addresses the fact that all nonexempt employees working a maximum of 40 hours must be paid overtime.

    "Except as otherwise provided in this section, no employer shall employ any of his employees who in any workweek is engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, or is employed in an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, for a workweek longer than forty hours unless such employee receives compensation for his employment in excess of the hours above specified at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which he is employed."

    Changes for 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

    In California, no employer may require an employee to work during any meal or rest period where the meal or rest period is mandated by the California Wage Orders -- which is 12 of 15.

    In Maine, a law was passed which limits mandatory overtime to 80 hours in a two-week period.

    Comment


    • #3
      For every 8 hours you work you are entitled to 2 15 minute breaks and half hour for lunch and of course, restroom whenever you need to go!

      Not under the law, you're not. As can be seen by the material you posted from Evan's website.
      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        No lunch or restroom breaks

        OK, then if the company is unwilling to have the most basic common decency then it is past time to find a job where an employee does not nhave to ask permission to use the restroom...and be taken terrible advantage of time-wise. But notice, nowhere does it state that a place of employment has the right to refuse someone to use the restroom when they need to go.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm not talking about restroom breaks. I'm talking about your assertion that an employee, any employee, is automatically entitled to two 15 minute rest breaks and a 30 minute lunch break. That is not the case in any state. In SOME states, an employee is entitled to two TEN minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch break. In some, just the lunch break. But nowhere is your declaration the law.
          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.

          Comment


          • #6
            Go to "www.dir.ca.gov/dlse" and select "Publications" and then select "2002 Enforcement Policies and Interpretation Manual, find Paragrpah 45.3". It is the current manual used by the State of California. It specifies the required lunch and breaks for employees in California.

            In short, employers are required to provide a 30 minute lunch for employees who work more than 6 hours and two 10 minute breaks for each 8 hours worked, based on two four hour time periods. The are some exceptions and variations but the 30 and 2 10's is the normal standard.

            Comment


            • #7
              Restroom breaks

              Thank you; I was astounded that an employer would actually refuse to allow an employee to go to the restroom...I appreciate the info, thanks again.

              Comment


              • #8
                Breaks

                I teach Ski School. We some times start at 8 and go straight through until 4.
                This arrangement has worked fine for 32 years. Now I'm beng told that I have to take a break ever four hours. In doing so I would lose between 15 to 40 dollars for that lost hour. In Oregon can you be forced to take a break if you do not want to do so. I would rather teach that sit and eat.
                Last edited by Mark Hamby; 03-13-2006, 10:44 AM. Reason: spelling

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not only can you be forced to take a break (in all 50 states - your employer determines what hours you work, not you, and that includes breaks) in Oregon a 10 minute break every four hours plus a 30 minute unpaid meal break is required by law.
                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Can I teach for eight straight hours if I want to. Would my employer be penalized for my wanting to work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If your employer does not follow the laws regarding breaks, yes, they can be penalized. Your state does not allow you to work eight hours uninterrupted.

                      I understand that you would rather work straight through but that is not an option available to you.
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've seen this post quoting information from www.ewin.com before but never thought to correct it until now. I didn't realize people were still going back to December 2005 posts.

                        Please note that I do not know if the quote is accurate.

                        But the information purportedly quoted from Ethan's site fails to note that MA also has a day of rest requirement that requires rest for one in every seven days (c.149, sec.48), with some exceptions.

                        You should be careful with these types of sites. They are great places to start, but you should be sure to double check state laws before relying on their information. You should also be doubly sure to understand your particular business, as there are numerous exceptions to many of the rules.

                        Good luck.

                        Phil
                        This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

                        This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I know Ethan slightly and I've brought that omission to his attention before now - can't recall his excuse for not correcting it.

                          I use Ethan's site as a reference source but, specifically because I know that particular information is not fully accurate, I don't include it unless I can verify the information from another source. If I can't, I list the info as being unconfirmed.

                          I would also recommend that such sites not be used as gospel - state laws change frequently and updates are not always made in a timely manner.
                          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.

                          Comment

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