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Forced lunch breaks? Arizona

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  • Forced lunch breaks? Arizona

    Hello all, my coworkers and I are confused about something. As we understand it, if you are scheduled 6 1/2 hours or more, you are entitled to a 30 min. break, under 6 hrs. 1 or 2 15 min. breaks.
    Our question is, if you are scheduled for anything under 6 1/2 hours, can your employer force you to take a 30 min. break? Sometimes we are only scheduled 4 hours, and they try to make us take 30 min breaks to cut their labor costs. Any help appreciated, Linda

  • #2
    Your understanding is incorrect. Under neither Federal nor Arizona law are you entitled to any breaks whatsoever, regardless of how many hours you work. Breaks are never required for the general population under Federal law; it is a state law issue, and the state of Arizona has not seen fit to pass any laws requiring breaks. At all. Ever.

    (Despite a widespread and persistant belief that two 15 minute breaks a day are the right of all employees, in actual fact only a handful of hotel employees in the state of Illinois are entitled to such breaks by law. NOWHERE ELSE in the US are the adult employees of private employers entitled to two 15 minute breaks a day, and the Illinois law for hotel workers has only existed for less than a year.)

    However, it is the right of your employer to determine your work hours, and that includes breaks. If they tell you to take a break, you take a break. That's all she wrote.
    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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    • #3
      Originally posted by sunka43 View Post
      they try to make us take 30 min breaks to cut their labor costs.
      How so? By eliminating selected staff during slow periods? That is the only way I see that they could be saving on labor costs. Doing so is legal, but not great for morale, particularly if the decision about who goes on break and when is pretty much at the whim of the manager on duty.
      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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