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Union vs. non union rules differ Illinois

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  • Union vs. non union rules differ Illinois

    My employer wants to implement a different break poilcy for my hourly non-exempt non-union employees. Currently my CBA for union employees allows two ten minute paid breaks, rather than one 20 minute meal break, which is legal because it's covered under a CBA. They now want to change only the non-union employees to one 30 minute unpaid break with no other breaks. While I know this is within the ODRIS guidelines, do you think it could create legal problems from employees who are not being given a paid break, but are forced to take an unpaid break because they are not part of the union? Right the non-union employees all work 8 hours with two ten minute paid breaks and they eat at their desks when they are ready for a lunch break, which is not legal because they are not covered by a CBA. They are unhappy they are no longer being given a paid break, but have to work 30 minutes longer to take their unpaid break.

  • #2
    I have a site in Chicago with both union and non-union employees. They are treated differently from each other.

    So it is legal to treat them differently. With this type of policy change, some grumbling is to be expected.

    However eating at a desk while punched in is not illegal. It may be against company policy but not ilegal.


    • #3
      Actually, I believe it is illegal, because the non-union employees are currently being given two ten minute breaks. The Illinois law specificies they must be given a 20 minute break, and they must not be doing any work whatsoever to be considered a break. The union people can do this because they CBA calls for it. The non-uinon people are supposed to have 20 minutes off, not two ten minute breaks.


      • #4
        Are you saying that the union contract doesn't provide for a meal period?

        Illinois wage and hour law does not require rest breaks. The "nonunion people" are "supposed to have" whatever the law minimally required.
        Last edited by Pattymd; 01-25-2011, 07:00 AM.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


        • #5
          You just said that the non-union people are being changed to a 30 minute unpaid break. That more than complies with IL 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.


          • #6
            I'm saying the union contract does not require a twenty minute meal break. It states they get two ten minute breaks instead. Up until now, the non-union people have followed the same, but Illinois law says that only a CBA can change the 20 minutes meal break requirement. So non-union people would be required to have a 20 minute meal break. Now they want to change their break to a 30 minute unpaid break with no paid breaks like the union people get. I know it's important to follow the Illinois law for tnose no covered by the CBA, but is there any way they can claim they are being treated unfairly because they are not getting any paid breaks like the union employees are?


            • #7
              They can claim it if they want to, but as long as they are being given breaks according to the law, and with the change to the 30 minute break they will be, there's not going to be an issue. It is LEGAL for union and non-union employees to have different benefits.
              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.


              • #8
                Thank you, cbg. I just wanted to be sure, as I know union vs. non union is not a status that can be a protected class that could be considered discrimination, but wasn't sure if there was anything else I should be concerned about.


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