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  • Jan 11, 2008, 02:29 PM
    maria2day
    Worked through lunch breaks .pay was deducted
    I work at a skilled Nursing Facility. Just a little background. I am currently on disability due to a work related injury. My employer told me to expect to be terminated when I come back to work.
    My question is about lunch breaks. On many occasions, I worked through my lunch break. On some of those occasions I did not clock out. A lot of times, I clocked out but worked through lunch anyway. On the occasions that I didn't clock out, my employer deducted the time from my paycheck anyway . On the payroll reports, the payroll manager circled the "hours worked", deducted 30 minutes, and adjusted the hours. Do I have any recourse? I don't make a lot of money. Would it be worth it to pursue?

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  • Jan 11, 2008, 02:37 PM
    smearcase
    You need to talk to a lawyer.
  • Jan 11, 2008, 02:38 PM
    Lowtax4eva
    You should have spoken with your manager before doing this. If you don't take your break they have no way of knowing you didn't take it so they probably decucted the 30 minutes each day assuming you forgot to clock out.

    You should check also if your even allowed to do this, some states require that you take a 30 minute break, unpaid, you're the one who decided not to use it a few days.

    These states require meal periods (meaning you are not allowed to work during lunch for extra pay): California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia.

    Lunch, Break, and Hour Laws You Should Know « Legal Andrew
  • Jan 11, 2008, 02:50 PM
    twinkiedooter
    If the employer terminates you when you come back due to your being off from work due to your disability. That is illegal and you can pursue suit against them for that.

    The business of a lunch break was explained above but the 30 minutes mandatory is not correct. You should have clocked out for lunch and then took lunch. You just basically gave your employer your time for free as there is nothing you can do now unless you got prior approval to do this practice. You noticed something was wrong but you didn't ask anyone about it but just kept on doing this. Please don't assume that other people know what you are doing - especially when it comes to paying people correct amounts for hours actually worked. The employer may have had a strcit no overtime policy and essentially you were not adhering to it with the 30 mintes here and 30 minutes there costing them money.
  • Jan 11, 2008, 03:18 PM
    JudyKayTee
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by twinkiedooter
    If the employer terminates you when you come back due to your being off from work due to your disability. That is illegal and you can pursue suit against them for that.

    The business of a lunch break was explained above but the 30 minutes mandatory is not correct. You should have clocked out for lunch and then took lunch. You just basically gave your employer your time for free as there is nothing you can do now unless you got prior approval to do this practice. You noticed something was wrong but you didn't ask anyone about it but just kept on doing this. Please don't assume that other people know what you are doing - especially when it comes to paying people correct amounts for hours actually worked. The employer may have had a strcit no overtime policy and essentially you were not adhering to it with the 30 mintes here and 30 minutes there costing them money.


    And some employers mandate that you take a lunch break or other break - if you do not you can be dismissed for violation of company rules.

    Also agree with the 100% overtime statement. I managed a firm and was presented with a statement from a receptionist who cut her lunch short by 15 minutes every day for quite some time and suddenly expected to be paid for the time - unauthorized, against policy, lunch and breaks were scheduled because people needed to walk away, take a break. She did not collect and she was not happy.
  • Jan 11, 2008, 03:26 PM
    shygrneyzs
    I used to work in hospitals and we were always docked our half hour lunch period, even though we could be called out during lunch for an emergency room call or a code - many times we did not even get to eat the lunch. So our department did some checking and found out we had to be paid for that half hour, since we were considered "on call" during that time and could not leave the hospital.

    Please contact an attorney versed in employment law. Or call your state's Labor Department. Good luck.
  • Jan 11, 2008, 07:16 PM
    excon
    Hello maria:

    Whether you should or shouldn't have been paid for your time during lunch is academic now, because you forfeited your rights to claim it. IF you were unhappy with the situation when it happened, you would have brought it up then.

    There's a concept in the law with some fancy Latin name that I can't remember off hand, but it says that if you are presented with a situation where your rights are being violated, and you DON'T do anything about it right away, you can't do anything about it later.

    excon
  • Jan 11, 2008, 07:37 PM
    Fr_Chuck
    Most places I have worked because of laws requreing employees to take breaks require them to take a lunch, I have actually written up employees and gave them warnings for not taking their breaks.

    So if they require you to take a lunch, you have to take it, and if you disobey, they often have rules that your lunch will be deducted out.
    The last place I worked, you did not have to clock in and out for lunch, but it was automatically deducted form your days work
  • Jan 12, 2008, 11:59 AM
    maria2day
    Thanks for all of your responses. Just a little clarification. I did not choose to work through my lunches and breaks. I work in a medical facility. I skipped lunch breaks either because a crisis was going on, or we were woefully understaffed. When I brought up the issue to my supervisor, I was told that I could be written up(like FR_Chuck said) for not taking lunch breaks. I explained why I hadn't taken lunches, she said, it doesn't matter whether you take lunch or not, you still have to clock in and out. Do you suppose I would be written up if I said, "What? the patient fell? Sorry, can't help ya. Im eating my lunch."?
  • Jan 12, 2008, 01:09 PM
    JudyKayTee
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by maria2day
    Thanks for all of your responses. Just a little clarification. I did not choose to work through my lunches and breaks. I work in a medical facility. I skipped lunch breaks either because a crisis was going on, or we were woefully understaffed. When I brought up the issue to my supervisor, I was told that I could be written up(like FR_Chuck said) for not taking lunch breaks. I explained why I hadnt taken lunches, she said, it doesnt matter whether you take lunch or not, you still have to clock in and out. Do you suppose I would be written up if I said, "What? the patient fell? Sorry, can't help ya. Im eating my lunch."?


    So in theory you are supposed to leave the floor (and a sick patient), wander off, clock out, go back to the patient, wander off, clock back in - ?

    This sounds a little bizarre when Nurses often work 12 and 14 hour shifts -

    Is there a written policy?
  • Jan 12, 2008, 03:06 PM
    maria2day
    Judy, It never fails... As soon as I sit down to eat, I hear them calling me on the intercom. Or better yet, they come find me.
  • Jan 12, 2008, 03:47 PM
    Fr_Chuck
    I know in some jobs, such as police officers and correctional officers, they do not get lunch breaks, ( if they can take one they will but if they can't, too bad.

    If they will not allow you to take it, then you actually have a case against them.
  • Jan 12, 2008, 04:14 PM
    JudyKayTee
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by maria2day
    Judy, It never fails....As soon as I sit down to eat, I hear them calling me on the intercom. Or better yet, they come find me.


    My husband was a Pharmacist - his favorite story was the time he put up the "back in 10 minutes" sign and went to the mens room. After a minute or two a customer came into the mens room to ask him a question about a prescription!

    So, yes, I know what you mean!
  • Jan 12, 2008, 06:24 PM
    smearcase
    Most states have a Labor and Licensing Department that should look in to work hour disputes. The real issue is the threat of being fired when you return after injury. Are you receiving workmen's compensation? You need to discuss these issues with a lawyer (they don't normally charge to determine if you have a case). There may be steps you should be taking now to document your potential suit. The work hour issue may be good evidence to go along with the injury case. I am not a lawyer but I think you need the advice of one.
  • Dec 4, 2010, 12:15 PM
    jeezy89
    What if your employer expects you to take a lunch, but also requires you to not go over your 8 hour shift, for example me and another guy work all night and have to work through our lunch so we don't get in trouble for staying to long. Without that extra 30 min we do not have the time to finish the tasks of the job. It's either get in trouble for not taking a lunch or get in trouble for not leaving on time... How is this situation supposed to be handled?

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