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minor labor laws for breaks and lunch

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  • minor labor laws for breaks and lunch

    My daughter is 16 and just started at a fast food joint. She is only being schedule 3 days a week from 5to9. She is being told to take a 30 min break each day. My question iscan she refuse to take the break since she is not working past 5 consecutive hours. She's complaining that she wants as many hours that she's allowed and these breaks are cutting into her check.

  • #2
    Unless there are specific laws that require it, the employer has the right to set their meal/break policy. There is nothing that says the employer can't require a 30 minute unpaid break as often as the employer likes.

    If she refuses to take a break, she could be disciplined and even terminated for insubordination.

    It's good that she wants to work more hours, but her schedule and total hours are up to the employer. I suggest she work very hard and do her very best to be a great employee that the employer will want to work her more hours. If she is unhappy with the hours, she needs to look for employment elsewhere.

    And just so you and she know, most employers don't like to work 16 yr olds more than 10-15 hours per week, even during the summer because they know when school starts back up, then will cut their hours to about that. It's hard to find a job with many more hours a week than that at her age. The ones I have seen are lifeguarding, nannying, etc. But not usually fast food or retail.

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    • #3
      Break laws are set by state law. What state is this in?

      When I know the state, I can tell you if the breaks are set by law or set by the employer.

      However, one thing I can promise you. EVEN IF they are set by the employer, the employer makes the rules. No matter what state you are in, there is not going to be a law giving her permission to work through the breaks the employer has ordered her to take with no repercussions.
      Last edited by cbg; 05-12-2016, 06:31 PM.
      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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      • #4
        Thank you hr for me and cbc for your quick and thorough responses. Also the state is in ohio. I am pretty much in the loop of most laws regarding teens though. If they work for 5 consecutive hours they are required by law to take a break. It's just when she called me on her break complaining, I didn't have an answer for her and advised her to follow orders. However when hired by the General Manager she explained to him that she had certain goals to reach that could only be accomplished with a minimum of 20hrs per week and that she had no other obligations. I believe that's what landed her the job. It was just mind blowing to me that a manager would make someone go on break and they are only there for 4 hours. Not to mention it's a different manager every day she has been there, and no one is training her. She said she just introduced herself and asked can I watch you and help. Things are just so different from when I was working in the fast food industry. Thanks you two again for your replies.

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        • #5
          Also just to mention it's not the policy requiring her to go on break it's seems that it's just different managers she has worked that 5 to 9 shift without a break several times and on some days certain management will tell her to go on break. I asked is it during a slow period and she said no they stay busy (location is a popular busy area of town)

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          • #6
            If the manager on duty that day tells her to take a break, she takes a break. It really is that simple.

            While I will grant you that the breaks are only required by law if she is working 5 hours or more, there is no law she can invoke that will force the manager to let her work straight through if the manager wants her to take a break. The employer, not the employee, decides what hours are worked and that includes breaks. She can't be required to take fewer breaks than required by law but she can be required to take more.
            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by cbg View Post
              If the manager on duty that day tells her to take a break, she takes a break. It really is that simple.

              While I will grant you that the breaks are only required by law if she is working 5 hours or more, there is no law she can invoke that will force the manager to let her work straight through if the manager wants her to take a break. The employer, not the employee, decides what hours are worked and that includes breaks. She can't be required to take fewer breaks than required by law but she can be required to take more.
              Again cbg, thanks for your help., but obviously it really isn't that simple to me. Simple to me would be to schedule her for only 3 hrs then. I guess i just don't get having someone work for 3 hours, make them take a 30 min break just to clock back in to work 30 more minutes then punch out and go home. But different strokes for different folks. Thanks again

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              • #8
                It is that simple though in that she has to work the hours & take the breaks the employer/manager tell her to. (even though it doesn't "seem simple" to you)
                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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                • #9
                  Whether it makes sense to you, or to her, or not, legally that's what you're left with. If she doesn't like the way she is scheduled she is free to find another job that will schedule her the way she wants to be scheduled.

                  What she is not free to do is work through a break she is told to take. Not if she wants to keep the job.
                  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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                  • #10
                    It's not uncommon for people to start out with few hours. But, I worked in fast food in my teenage years also, and I doubt it's changed that much. They are very high turnover and usually desperate for help. Once she's been there a few weeks and proves she is a good, dependable worker, she will probably get all the hours she wants, assuming the location stays busy. But the way to get there isn't to refuse to comply with a management order.

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