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leaving premises on own lunch time Oregon

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  • leaving premises on own lunch time Oregon

    My employer has a policy that states employees are not allowed to leave the property during their half hour break time, which is our own time and not paid for by the employer. Can I be fired for leaving during this time? There is a gas station close by my work where I go to buy my cigarettes at and get gas.
    And if I cannot be fired for, can my employer force me to comply to this policy?
    Last edited by rmusic2000; 10-07-2007, 03:21 PM. Reason: misspell

  • #2
    If we are talking federal law only, then under federal law the employer can legally generally tell you to not leave the premises during the lunch break and can legally terminated your employment for violating this work rule. The exact federal rule on lunch breaks is shown below. Termination law is mostly Employment-At-Will, which means that either the employer or employee can end the employment relationship "at will" unless there is a specific law being violated.

    Oregon is not my state, and I do not know what rules (if any) Oregon has on this subject.

    ------

    http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/Title_...9CFR785.19.htm

    (b) Where no permission to leave premises. It is not necessary that an employee be permitted to leave the premises if he is otherwise completely freed from duties during the meal period.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      leaveing premise during lunch break

      Thanks for that info. Do you know where I can find info on Oregon Law concerning leaving the premise on my own time. I searched the Oregon Labor law website, but found nothing.

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      • #4
        This is how the law in Oregon reads - adults: Employers must provide a paid rest period of not less than 10 min. for every segment of four hours worked in one work period. The time must be taken in addition to and separately from time allowed for meals. Insofar as feasible, the break should be taken approx. midway in the segment of work. Employers are also required to provide meal periods of not less than 30 min. to employees who work shifts of six or more hours. Employees are generally required to be relieved from all duties during the 30 min. meal period. Employees who are required to remain on duty during meal periods or who perform any tasks during the period must be paid for the meal period. (applies to non-exempt employees)
        add info: There is nothing in the law that says the employer has to allow you to leave the premises - only that you generally are required to be relieved from all duties during this meal period.
        Last edited by Betty3; 10-07-2007, 06:07 PM. Reason: add info
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        • #5
          leaving premise during lunch break

          Thanks for the Oregon law info.... It seems to me that the there is nothing that states my employer can get in trouble for having a policy that makes me stay on his property during my meal period, even when I am relieved of all my duties and not paid during that time. Thats what I really wanted to find out.

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          • #6
            leaving premise during lunch break

            I am not on duty during my lunch period and I am completely relieved of all m
            duties, I am just not allowed to leave property (5 acres) during my lunch break. I perform no duties and not "on duty". If I do go back to work early, I am paid for it.

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            • #7
              My reading of the statute is opposite from JoeC's. Since the OP has stated he is relieved of all duty, and he is paid if his meal period is interrupted, I see no violation of wage and hour law here. That's all the statute requires.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                I disagree with Joe as well. An employee is not "on duty" simply because he or she is on the property. What "on duty" means is if an employee is responsible for any job duties during that time, not whether or not the employee is on the property. The lunch period would not need to be paid if the employee is relieved of job duties, regardless of that employee's physical location during the lunch period.

                An illustration of when an employee WOULD be on duty and also required to remain on the property would be a receptionist who is allowed to eat lunch at his/her desk, but must still remain at the desk and answer the phones. The fact that he/she is at the desk does not make them "on duty"; it's the answering of phones that would make their lunch period "on duty".

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                • #9
                  OP, what happens if, during your 30-minute meal period, you are interrupted to perform duties at, say 20 minutes in?
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    Based on the quoted rule, I am going to agree with everyone but Joe on this. However, states can get pretty strange at times in how they read their own rules. The OP might want to contact the Oregon DOL (or whatever Oregon calls their DOL) and see that they think.
                    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                    • #11
                      Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries seems to hold that employers can keep the employee on the premises during unpaid lunch breaks, if they are completely relieved of their duties.

                      http://www.oregon.gov/BOLI/TA/T_FAQ_...estmeals.shtml

                      OTHER COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

                      Q. May I require my employees to stay on the premises during their rest periods?
                      A. Yes, as long as the employees are completely relieved of all duties.
                      Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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                      • #12
                        Joe, I'm not arguing about this any more except to say that "on duty" and "on premises" are two different things. If they meant "on premises", they would have SAID "on premises".

                        At this point, I'm done with this thread unless the OP comes back and answers my most recent question.
                        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks, Scott, , but rest periods and meal periods are also two different things. *sigh*
                          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                          • #14
                            JoeC, now you're changing the situation from a "meal period" to staying after his shift. That wasn't the question.
                            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                            • #15
                              Joe, we're arguing what the statute says in plain language. You're reading something into it that just isn't there.
                              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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