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Meal and rest breaks, Ohio

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  • Meal and rest breaks, Ohio

    I work in the state of Ohio. In the last newsletter my employer stated, quote, "FLSA does not mandate that an employer provide meal periods or breaks of any duration whether paid or unpaid. Paid breaks are scheduled and approved at the discretion of your supervisor and are not guaranteed. Since breaks are a paid work time and may need to be interrupted, employees may not leave the campus work location during breaks for any reason, including smoking." Furthermore, "If you want to use meal periods to attend to personal business, then you need to obtain approval from your supervisor." I personally think that the administration goes overboard with this. But the question remains: can they really do that? Can they legally deny us having breaks? Can they have us work 8+ hours non stop? Can they legally tell us what we can and can not do on our breaks?
    Aside from the possible letter of the law, many of us feel that we are being treated like children. Any input is welcome. Thanks. Annie.

  • #2
    There isn't any information on Ohio's DOL web site regarding meal or rest breaks - just a link to the federal DOL - so presumably Ohio has no such laws and therefore federal laws apply. The FLSA does not mandate that breaks be provided. It does mandate that breaks of less than 20 minutes be paid however.

    can they really do that? Since your breaks appear to be paid, yes.

    Can they legally deny us having breaks? Yes.

    Can they have us work 8+ hours non stop? Yes.

    Can they legally tell us what we can and can not do on our breaks? As long as the breaks are paid, yes. Even if they were unpaid, they could still enforce quite a number of requirements on employees since you are still in their employ. (This may be a silly example but even if you were on an unpaid break, they could stilll enforce "no alcohol, no drugs, no weapons, no fighting," etc., policies for everyone.)

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