RE: Mandatory lunch breaks?

From:"Cheasty, Sandra"

In the state of California the labor laws are such that if a full time employee misses either or all of his/her 10 minute breaks or 1/2 hour lunch, they must get paid an entire HOUR of regular time. Therefore everyone is encouraged to take a lunch and breaks.  The reason behind the law is, I believe, that any job should not be so understaffed that two short breaks and a lunch cannot (on most days) be taken. 

When I worked in Wisconsin the labor laws were different. They had to give you a half hour lunch, but breaks, by law, were at management's discretion and were only allowed "as workload permitted".  Unfortunately we were understaffed and were expected to cut tissues for 4-6 straight hours in the morning without a break.  This led to numbering errors along with finger cuts and abrasions. 

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 11:22
Subject: Mandatory lunch breaks?

Hi all - In the pathology department at our hospital we prefer NOT to take
a lunch break, since that puts us 1/2 hour further behind.  The three of us
are already currently working more hours than we would prefer, and do not
want to stay longer into the day than we already  have to.  We prefer to
take a 15-20 minute break earlier in the day, and then work thru till the
work is done.  If we have a new employee or a pool person we tell them they
can take a 1/2 hour lunch if they would like, and that they are also
entitled to a 15 minute break for each 4 hours they work.  We never tell
anyone they can't take a lunch.  We just prefer not to take one ourselves..
Now administration is telling us we all HAVE to take a 30 minute lunch and
that it will be deducted from our time cards.  I'm wondering how this is
handled in other places, and if anyone knows if there is a federal law
mandating 30 minutes lunches, or if it varies state by state, or per
unions, etc.  Any input is appreciated!

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