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Old 01-31-2008, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Moose Jaw, in between the Moose's butt and nose.
4,383 posts, read 3,981,739 times
Reputation: 1366
Default Work at a place that does not allow bathroom breaks.

Well, in a way, they don't. I have a supervisor who is trying to get on me due to this:
I work in a call center where you are allowed 2 15 minute breaks, usually every 2 hours. The goal, for the whole shift is to have no more than 30 minutes of break time for the whole day. . Other than that, you are, basically, at least, harrased and reminded that you cannot use more than 30 minutes of break time at all for anything. If you do, you are expected to cut minutes on your 15 minute breaks.
Does this seem oppressive? Does anyone else have a similiar experience at a job (particulary a call center)? Futhermore, the supervisors who enforce this, often take 1 smoke break every hour and it takes 2 minutes to go outside, where the restroom is right accross the way. I should not to freak out in a way because I have to use the restroom during work. Other than getting water or tea (takes about 2 minutes, not every day), I don't take break time besides the 15 minute breaks.
What should I do? It took a long time to get this job and I'm already thinking for sure about switching after 5.5 months due to rules like this.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:27 PM
 
Location: USA
4,983 posts, read 4,848,589 times
Reputation: 2506
I have worked long shifts with no breaks. I stuffed granola bars in my mouth and ran to the bathroom so fast I made an artform out of it.
I was afraid to say anything.
There is always someone else waiting to take your place.
There is nothing legal about breaks or lunches. It is up to the place. I called my state's employment dept and was told they get complaints about employers all the time, but that they can work you 24 hours a day and you cant do a thing about it.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:38 PM
NCN
 
13,933 posts, read 11,363,415 times
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I heard on the news that there was a court case about something just like this. The result was that the judge told the boss that they could not deny the employee the right to use the rest room when needed. Your boss is a jerk!
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Moon Over Palmettos
5,972 posts, read 11,626,288 times
Reputation: 4725
I work at a company that has a customer service area and these are the complaints I hear most employees gripe about. I think that because there are certain metrics in place (ASA-average speed of answer, number of calls in queue, etc.) that supervisors are charged with juggling people's schedules all the time. You may want to check with the DOL just in case what the rules are in your locality to make sure there is no abuse going on. Or if you trust your HR department to be an impartial party, that might be your first step.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Northeastern WI
19,333 posts, read 15,835,477 times
Reputation: 35784
Anyone in some fields of construction will say the same. You get lunch when you get lunch, there is no 30 minutes here, 10 minutes there, you grab what you can when you (reasonably) can. We've been on jobsites where you have 3 minutes to wolf down a hot dog or hide behind a building to grab a bite here and there. Ive worked for more than one company, where this is the deal and we dont get those cushy luncheons somewhere.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
805 posts, read 1,427,779 times
Reputation: 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by beenhereandthere View Post
Well, in a way, they don't. I have a supervisor who is trying to get on me due to this:
I work in a call center where you are allowed 2 15 minute breaks, usually every 2 hours. The goal, for the whole shift is to have no more than 30 minutes of break time for the whole day. . Other than that, you are, basically, at least, harrased and reminded that you cannot use more than 30 minutes of break time at all for anything. If you do, you are expected to cut minutes on your 15 minute breaks.
Does this seem oppressive? Does anyone else have a similiar experience at a job (particulary a call center)? Futhermore, the supervisors who enforce this, often take 1 smoke break every hour and it takes 2 minutes to go outside, where the restroom is right accross the way. I should not to freak out in a way because I have to use the restroom during work. Other than getting water or tea (takes about 2 minutes, not every day), I don't take break time besides the 15 minute breaks.
What should I do? It took a long time to get this job and I'm already thinking for sure about switching after 5.5 months due to rules like this.
Your boss should schedule a break every two hours and a lunch. There are some jobs that this is not the case, like construction. This might also apply to other jobs where you have a lot of breaks in your work schedule. I worked at the airport and we were not scheduled a break or lunch. It was okay, though, because we often had an hour break here and there in-between flights.

I do not believe, however, that this is the case for your job. You are constantly working with no natural breaks. If this is the case, you should be allowed a break every two hours. You also must get a lunch if you work for a certain amount of hours at a time. You should contact the Department of Labor and Industries and see what they have to say about it. They will come in anonymously and check up on the conditions of the work place.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
1,368 posts, read 4,273,789 times
Reputation: 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by beenhereandthere View Post
Well, in a way, they don't. I have a supervisor who is trying to get on me due to this:
I work in a call center where you are allowed 2 15 minute breaks, usually every 2 hours. The goal, for the whole shift is to have no more than 30 minutes of break time for the whole day. . Other than that, you are, basically, at least, harrased and reminded that you cannot use more than 30 minutes of break time at all for anything. If you do, you are expected to cut minutes on your 15 minute breaks.
Does this seem oppressive? Does anyone else have a similiar experience at a job (particulary a call center)? Futhermore, the supervisors who enforce this, often take 1 smoke break every hour and it takes 2 minutes to go outside, where the restroom is right accross the way. I should not to freak out in a way because I have to use the restroom during work. Other than getting water or tea (takes about 2 minutes, not every day), I don't take break time besides the 15 minute breaks.
What should I do? It took a long time to get this job and I'm already thinking for sure about switching after 5.5 months due to rules like this.
Sounds like your supervisors are being jerks. However, they are close to the edge of the law.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCN View Post
I heard on the news that there was a court case about something just like this. The result was that the judge told the boss that they could not deny the employee the right to use the rest room when needed. Your boss is a jerk!
Basically, this is true. Your boss cannot deny you from using the restroom. However, you probably should take it during your break if at all possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Power Surge View Post
Anyone in some fields of construction will say the same. You get lunch when you get lunch, there is no 30 minutes here, 10 minutes there, you grab what you can when you (reasonably) can. We've been on jobsites where you have 3 minutes to wolf down a hot dog or hide behind a building to grab a bite here and there. Ive worked for more than one company, where this is the deal and we dont get those cushy luncheons somewhere.
Construction overworks their employees, and demand for those jobs is high enough, they can get away with it.

There are a few rules about breaks/vs no breaks. Things like, can you talk with other employees while working about non-work stuff?

Etc. It depends on your state.

My thought, talk to HR and complain about your supervisors being oppressive. But beyond that, you're SOL.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:53 PM
 
Location: southern california
47,963 posts, read 43,427,781 times
Reputation: 38736
america desperately needs labor unions but don't want them?
corporations and the government treat people fairly?
when did that happen?
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX & AL Gulf Coast
3,902 posts, read 5,265,258 times
Reputation: 15098
Here is what the U. S. Dept. of Labor states:

Quote:
Question: When must breaks and meal periods be given?
Answer: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require breaks or meal periods be given to workers. Some states may have requirements for breaks or meal periods. If you work in a state which does not require breaks or meal periods, these benefits are a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee's representative).
See DOL WHD: State Labor Offices (http://www.dol.gov/esa/contacts/state_of.htm - broken link)

However, note that some states may... not knowing which state you're in, you'll need to look up what your state requirements are as shown on the following:

See DOL WHD: State Labor Laws: Minimum Length of Meal Period Requirements (http://www.dol.gov/esa/programs/whd/state/meal.htm - broken link)
and DOL WHD: State Labor Offices (http://www.dol.gov/esa/contacts/state_of.htm - broken link)


Good luck to you... hope your state is one that has them!

Last edited by BstYet2Be; 01-31-2008 at 11:27 PM..
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Old 02-01-2008, 05:44 AM
 
6,764 posts, read 13,099,980 times
Reputation: 4445
This is absolute b.s. but happens so many times at jobs.

The people (workers) need to stand up and say 'too bad' once in awhile. Like someone said here--what happened to the days of unions and fair treatment? If you allow them to step on you once, they will try it again and again.

Fair work for fair pay.

Where's Norma Rae when you need her?

Anyhow, the thing I have found is many companies now have 'third world immigrants' or illegals working at them--these people are willing to work for very little in poor conditions. My mother worked in a factory for years and with each new comer, the conditions slipped a bit more (tightening up on breaks/bathroom breaks).

Of course your evil boss is going to say, 'hey if we can get so and so do work harder for less breaks and scare him, then why not step on everyone a little more..?'

I hope that things turn around for 'the people'.
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