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Exemption?! Employees who elect not to take meal periods/rest periods

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  • Exemption?! Employees who elect not to take meal periods/rest periods

    60+ employee bussiness.

    Wages varying from minimum to 100k a year.

    Some persons working elect not to take a break/meal period.

    What do I need to protect myself from them in the future, if they choose to say that I forced them to not take a break. I am a very easygoing and don't expect them to stay and work and not take breaks, some just elect to do so.
    Please let me know what I can do to keep myself safe from malicious legal attacks in the future from these employees.

    I know that exemptions apply if they are recieving double minimum.

    Also if they are salaried and work an admin job that of course pays 2x minimum.

    I need to know if there is some sort of contract or something to that effect to avoid this problem in the future.

    Thank you

  • #2
    What state are you in? Breaks are not required in all states.
    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


    • #3
      Reply

      I am in California.

      I apologize I am new at this.

      Comment


      • #4
        If it were me, I would require them to take the breaks and the meal period. That way, there is no way they can come back later. Here are the laws on rest breaks and meal periods in California.
        http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_MealPeriods.htm
        http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_RestPeriods.htm

        Providing (and enforcing the taking thereof) the required meal period is especially important in California, since there is an hour's pay penalty if you do not provide it.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Response

          Is there not a break forfeiture contract of some sort I could utilize? Or does this only apply to exempt employees?

          I must admit it is not easy to keep tabs on 40+ employees rest period habits as the policy around here regarding it is quite liberal.

          I of course do encourage them to take breaks, but I do see people miss breaks.

          If it were part of their terms of employment that breaks are required and failure to take breaks X times can result in disciplinary action up to and including termination?

          Comment


          • #6
            Is there not a break forfeiture contract of some sort I could utilize? Or does this only apply to exempt employees? (a) No, unless the total work day is less than six hours; and (b) the requirement to provide a 30-minute meal period applies to ALL employees. Please take a read through the links Patty provided. They tell you exactly what the legal requirements are for breaks and meal periods in California.

            I of course do encourage them to take breaks, but I do see people miss breaks. Which is fine until an employee gets ticked-off for some reason and decides to file a complaint with the State regarding the missed breaks/meal periods. It won't matter that employees are voluntarily skipping mandatory breaks.

            If it were part of their terms of employment that breaks are required and failure to take breaks X times can result in disciplinary action up to and including termination? You are the boss; you set the hours of work and work schedule and you must ensure that all State and federal laws are followed. You can certainly have a work rule requiring employees to take breaks as required under State law and discipline employees for failing to comply, just like any other work rule. (You'd discipline someone who showed up to work slugging from a bottle of vodka, right? I presume you have a work rule prohibiting reporting to work intoxicated and drinking on the job.)

            My suggestion is that you have a group meeting with your employees and explain to them what State law REQUIRES and that you are committed to complying with the law and you expect them to comply as well. You don't have to come off as Scrooge - rather just a business owner who intends to do the right thing. You can also mention that while you'd hate to do it, employees who fail to comply with State law and company rules on this matter will be subject to disciplinary action. If employees continue to ignore this directive, then I'm afraid you're going to have to follow through with some warnings. Some employees may decide to test you on this.

            Sometimes, it's no fun being the boss. Good luck.

            Comment


            • #7
              Response

              In reference to the link patty provided. I understand the basics of California meal/rest periods. I was just curious if there is a protection contract for persons who are not exempt that fail to take breaks or if anyone had heard or something like this, but I am guessing not.

              The responses are what I expected, but thank you for all the correspondence on this matter.

              Comment


              • #8
                ULawLabor, see my response to your new post.
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Reponse

                  One last question.

                  I see that it is stated by pattymd that ALL employees, exempt or not are entitled to a lunch break.

                  Does this apply to rest periods as well? Any exemptions?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't think I said that. What I believe I said is that it is a question that is open to interpretation, since exempt employees are expected to work whatever hours are necessary to do the job. This is something you should inquire about with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to get their opinion.
                    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Quote " "

                      [QUOTE=Beth3]Is there not a break forfeiture contract of some sort I could utilize? Or does this only apply to exempt employees? (a) No, unless the total work day is less than six hours; and (b) the requirement to provide a 30-minute meal period applies to ALL employees. Please take a read through the links Patty provided. They tell you exactly what the legal requirements are for breaks and meal periods in California. <-----------------!!!!!

                      Sorry patty got you mixed up with beth3 for some reason.

                      Apologies!?!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Deal. Although the majority of the time, I would be pleased to be confused with Beth
                        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Response

                          I think a big part of it is that she refers to you when making her statement and inbetween that statement and me registering it, my brain had already turned to mush.

                          Comment

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