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Boss editing timecards to include 30 min break? Missouri

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  • Boss editing timecards to include 30 min break? Missouri

    My companies break policy entails a unpaid thirty minute meal period be taken for every five hours of time worked. This is not optional. Here is my issue though, I work at a hotel alone during my shift. I have been told to clock out and then clock back in if a phone rings or a guest rings my bell. The manual states that in order for my break to be "bona fide" they must be 30 minutes or longer and uniterrupted. So I missed two breaks on a previous weekend and my boss has edited my timecard and added a thirty minute break to each day. Is there any legality issues here? In Missouri breaks are not required by law, but how can I take a break if I cant leave the premise of the hotel?

    Just wondering

  • #2
    that is why it is important to read the employees manual when you start a job. You do what is required of you not what your told to do. If the phone rings and you are on your 30 min. unpaid lunch, someone else will have to answer the phone. It sound like this may be your first job or two and someones taking advantage of you. Read your employee manual if they gave you one, if not get one and find out what you are supposed to do not what they want you to do. Good luck and God bless.


    • #3
      If you are non-exempt, you need to be paid for all time worked. However; if you don't take required breaks, you can be disciplined for it incl. being fired. You can be required to remain on the premises during your break but you should not do any work if it is to be unpaid.

      If you would happen to be exempt, you would get your regular weekly salary no matter how many hrs. you work. It seems from your post you are prob. non-exempt though.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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      • #4
        I think the poster stated he/she is alone during the shift so there is no one else to answer the phone, and failure to do so, could result in disiplinary action. This is a tough one, because the state does not demand the break, but if there is someone higher on the chain, than the one changing the time card, I would speak to him/her, and ask if claiming that time as paid time, if it is interrupted, is permissable. I would ask the person higher up, if it is ok, and if he/she says yes, than ask, what do I do, if my time card is changed when it is interrupted. Good luck to you!


        • #5
          Non-exempt employees must be paid for all time worked and turbowray is correct in stating that, if the company policy is that the OP must cut short his meal break to answer the phone, then he/she faces disciplinary action if that isn't done.

          Federal law states that, any break of less than 20 uninterrupted minutes in length is compensable time.

          OP, if you don't get at least 20 uninterrupted minutes for your break, then the entire break must be paid.

          Unfortunately, however, my recollection is that, since Missouri does not have a law of its own regarding this issue, you would have to either file a claim with the federal DOL or a civil suit (small claims might be available) in the Missouri courts.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


          • #6

            Thanks for all the swift repilies.
            I have scurtinized the manual and have decided to copy it here.

            Rest and Meal Periods

            Associates are to recieve an unpaid thirty (30) minute meal period for every five (5) hours of time worked and a paid ten (10) minute rest period for every four (4) hours worked, unless otherwise required by State law. This is not optional.

            Scheduling of meal and rest periods is to be determined by your manager. Scheduling of a pre-set time for meal periods will encourage all staff to break together and ensure accurate time keeping.

            Excessive or extended meal or rest periods will be grounds for disiplinary action up to and including termination. Any questions reguarding meals and rest periods should be directed to management.

            Calculating and recording rest and meal breaks
            Rest periods are common in most industries. These break hours are paid for by the employer as hours worked. They must be counted as hours worked in payroll calcualtions.

            On the other hand, bona fide "meal periods" are counted as time worked if they are 30 minutes or longer and uninterupted. Bona fide meal periods do not include coffee breaks or time for snacks (these are rest breaks).

            To qualify for an unpaid meal period, the associate must be completly relieved from duty for the purpose of eating a regualar meal. the assiciate is not relieved if he/she is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating. For example, a Night GSR who is required to perform work duties while eating would be eligible for pay during this meal period. These meal periods would be considered hours worked.

            Should an associate take a meal period and return to work before the thirty (30) minutes has expired, the associate should be paid for the time clocked out for the meal period. The associate should be paid for the time clocked-out for the meal period. The associate should then be subject to disiplinary action to reinforce the Company's policy of taking a full thirty (30) minute meal period. Should an associate take excessive break or breaks in excess of ten (10) minutes, they are to paid for the breaks; however, should be subject to disiplinary action to reinforce the Company's policy of taking a ten (10) minute break for every four (4) hours worked.

            soo, that being what is in the manual, is what is being asked ( clocking out until a phone rings and then clocking back in correct?) I feel I am not completly relieved of my duties and fall into the Night GSR category.


            • #7
              Again, if your boss is asking you to do something that the manual states is against company policy, ask him which he would prefer you do. All we can do is state the legal requirements.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


              • #8
                Thanks again

                My boss had refunded my hours that were removed. She didnt state any reason, but was overly polite about it considering the note I had left her.

                Thanks for the input.


                • #9
                  Probably didn't want to admit she didn't know.
                  Anyway, congrats on the good result. They aren't going to do that any more, right?
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


                  • #10
                    Yes, great news indeed! Let us know if you have any further questions, we hope all goes well from here!! Good luck!


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