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Old 08-18-2009, 07:43 PM
 
5 posts, read 7,460 times
Reputation: 14
Default Question about California labor code - my wife's department at work is not allowed to take lunch

My wife just came home starving because their company had a mandatory Benefits meeting today. Her and others in her department were forced to attend this meeting during her lunch. They were not allowed to eat until after the 1 hour meeting.

They were provided with pizza, but could not eat during the meeting. They had to eat the pizza after the meeting after logging back in to her regular shift . Her job is in a busy call center, so she had to answer the phones as soon as the meeting was over. She hardly ate any of the cold pizza between calls.

She told me this has happened before and there will be another meeting where they will be required to log out form "lunch" to attend a meeting. She will have to eat cold pizza again in between calls.

Am I over reacting or does this sound highly illegal? I am just looking for advice. If in fact this is illegal, I would like to know who we can contact. The little research I did online lead me to some forms to get compensated for the 1 hour lunch, but I want to report this company and their unfair labor practices.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 53,458,962 times
Reputation: 16290
How did people eat lunch and work a 9-5 job?
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
3,612 posts, read 4,489,685 times
Reputation: 3435
Have her call the nearest office of the State The Federal DOL also handles wage-and-hour stuff but I would start with the State. Falsifying time sheets is never legal.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:41 PM
 
193 posts, read 338,281 times
Reputation: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
How did people eat lunch and work a 9-5 job?
Well, that's really not much of an answer.

CA labor code requires a 30 meal break for any 8 hour shift and 2 10 minute breaks. But, if the person is salaried, the provisions change, AFAIK.

If not an 8 hour day, it can get more confusing. Look at this code:

"No employer shall employ any person for a work period of more than five (5) hours without a meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that when a work period of not more than six (6) hours will complete the day’s work the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and the employee. Unless the employee is relieved of all duty during a 30 minute meal period, the meal period shall be considered an “on duty” meal period and counted as time worked. An “on duty” meal period shall be permitted only when the nature of the work prevents an employee from being relieved of all duty and when by written agreement between the parties an on-the-job paid meal period is agreed to. The written agreement shall state that the employee may, in writing, revoke the agreement at any time. California Code of Regulations, Title 8, §11040."

Here's more: http://www.caltrux.org/downloads/pdf/Public_Downloads/Links/meal-and-rest-do-and-dont.pdf (broken link)
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Hills & Hollers of the Aux Arcs
18,710 posts, read 15,328,483 times
Reputation: 16525
Quote:
Originally Posted by needa916 View Post
My wife just came home starving because their company had a mandatory Benefits meeting today. Her and others in her department were forced to attend this meeting during her lunch. They were not allowed to eat until after the 1 hour meeting.

They were provided with pizza, but could not eat during the meeting. They had to eat the pizza after the meeting after logging back in to her regular shift . Her job is in a busy call center, so she had to answer the phones as soon as the meeting was over. She hardly ate any of the cold pizza between calls.

She told me this has happened before and there will be another meeting where they will be required to log out form "lunch" to attend a meeting. She will have to eat cold pizza again in between calls.

Am I over reacting or does this sound highly illegal? I am just looking for advice. If in fact this is illegal, I would like to know who we can contact. The little research I did online lead me to some forms to get compensated for the 1 hour lunch, but I want to report this company and their unfair labor practices.
WHAT? She has a J-O-B and they ultimately provided pizza for a late lunch at no cost to her? You want to complain?

I'm an old soldier and learned very long ago to choose my battles wisely so I could live to fight another day.
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:29 AM
 
Location: Southern California
12,237 posts, read 8,865,906 times
Reputation: 7937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
WHAT? She has a J-O-B and they ultimately provided pizza for a late lunch at no cost to her? You want to complain?

I'm an old soldier and learned very long ago to choose my battles wisely so I could live to fight another day.
Agreed. In times like these, I say be glad you're employed and figure that this is something that you just have to deal with. If it happens a lot, then you might have something but if not, let it go.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Central Coast, California
156 posts, read 498,253 times
Reputation: 152
I think you are over-reacting. They provided a FREE lunch for her, and she has a job??? You know how many people would jump at that chance?
Plus, I would let wifey poo fight her own battles.
JMHO......
If there is any cold pizza left, I'd like some!!!
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
48,394 posts, read 39,428,074 times
Reputation: 20315
I have to side with some of the others, if this was a weekly occurance it would be different, but sounds like it just happened this once, yes, you are over-reacting. I would like to know, how does one work in a busy call center and still eat between calls? I used to be a manager at a center; we did not allow anyone to eat while on the phones. Oh, sure, occassionally if we served cake or something agents would take it back to the phones and we sorta closed our eyes, but it wasn't allowed.

I think your wife will survive the one missed meal. As has been mentioned, it might be better to drop it with the economy the way it is. I do wonder what management was thinking if indeed, the employees were not allowed to eat during the meeting, this sounds very strange, but I guess stranger things have happened.

NIta
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,362 posts, read 53,458,962 times
Reputation: 16290
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehcsrop View Post
Well, that's really not much of an answer.

CA labor code requires a 30 meal break for any 8 hour shift and 2 10 minute breaks. But, if the person is salaried, the provisions change, AFAIK.

If not an 8 hour day, it can get more confusing. Look at this code:

"No employer shall employ any person for a work period of more than five (5) hours without a meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that when a work period of not more than six (6) hours will complete the day’s work the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and the employee. Unless the employee is relieved of all duty during a 30 minute meal period, the meal period shall be considered an “on duty” meal period and counted as time worked. An “on duty” meal period shall be permitted only when the nature of the work prevents an employee from being relieved of all duty and when by written agreement between the parties an on-the-job paid meal period is agreed to. The written agreement shall state that the employee may, in writing, revoke the agreement at any time. California Code of Regulations, Title 8, §11040."

Here's more: http://www.caltrux.org/downloads/pdf/Public_Downloads/Links/meal-and-rest-do-and-dont.pdf (broken link)

I think the term "9 to 5" originated before all these labor laws existed. Still, I'd like to know how people who worked those hours took lunch. They must have worked those hours, or something close to them, or the term would have never become the label for a white collar work schedule. Unless it is an urban legend...
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:59 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
3,908 posts, read 2,063,473 times
Reputation: 2693
Quote:
Originally Posted by needa916 View Post
My wife just came home starving because their company had a mandatory Benefits meeting today. Her and others in her department were forced to attend this meeting during her lunch. They were not allowed to eat until after the 1 hour meeting.

They were provided with pizza, but could not eat during the meeting. They had to eat the pizza after the meeting after logging back in to her regular shift . Her job is in a busy call center, so she had to answer the phones as soon as the meeting was over. She hardly ate any of the cold pizza between calls.

She told me this has happened before and there will be another meeting where they will be required to log out form "lunch" to attend a meeting. She will have to eat cold pizza again in between calls.

Am I over reacting or does this sound highly illegal? I am just looking for advice. If in fact this is illegal, I would like to know who we can contact. The little research I did online lead me to some forms to get compensated for the 1 hour lunch, but I want to report this company and their unfair labor practices.
I don't think you are over reacting and I'm frankly amazed at most of the other responses thus far. They seem to be saying that companies should be allowed to break the law because times are tough. That is baloney and that kind of thinking is one of the main reasons employer abuse is on the rise and why we are heading back to the sweat shop days we thought were behind us for good.

Now, I'm not saying that there is no potential risk or hardship involved in fighting this. But unless people stand up to abuse, our quality of life will continue to slide. Bad people prevail when good people do nothing. What they did, as you describe it, is clearly illegal.

Sorry, I can't help you as far as where to report, but a little bit of web searching should yield an answer to that. Good luck.
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