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I have the right to a break god damn it!
  #1  
Old 03-04-2020, 04:19 AM
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Default I have the right to a break god damn it!

I mean, a lot of the time, I don't even take scheduled breaks, but it seems like when I do, someone gives me shit. The last time was a couple of weeks ago. I had one of those shifts where I was on my own for the whole eight hours. When I took my lunch, they'd have to turn to other departments to answer loading calls, but would have no one on the lot, meaning that there would be a mess of carts when I'd get back (and I'd still have to answer loading calls while getting carts in).

So about an hour after lunch, I decide to take a paid 15 minute break (which I am entitled to). Unfortunately, the head cashier/supervisor happens to be in the breakroom and starts questioning me about things I've gotten done and why I'm taking a break so soon after lunch. I explain that I usually don't take a break and just want to take one now before I exhaust myself getting the rest of the carts in. She says something to the extent of as long as I get my work done, she doesn't care.

I end up getting most of the carts in except for about 10-12 lumber carts and a couple of rows of 20-30 shopping carts. By this time, the MOD is calling me to come in and says I can go. I figure all is well since management said I can leave and it's already after closing (and they'd get pissed off because me staying would mean they'd have to stay). The rest of the carts can be brought in by the opening team in about 20-30 minutes. Considering I've been on my own for 8 hours, I think I did a pretty good job.

Then two days later, that same head cashier who confronted me in the breakroom says she needs to talk to me. I explain that I got most of the carts in and that the manager said I could leave. I'm expecting a chew out and am ready to let her have it if she gets on me about Sunday. Well I don't get the chew out I'm expecting, and she even says I did a pretty good job, but the problem was the trash. I got all the trash bags, but left them on a cart near the entrance to the store. Head cashier got chewed out by the opening MOD (a different mod than the one that night) about the trash. And she just wanted to make sure that I don't do that again.

But what pissed me off is her bringing up that break I took and suggesting that I shouldn't have taken it.

No no no no, fuck that noise.

Just because this store is understaffed and can't get more people to come in on Sundays, doesn't mean I'm breaking my back for minimum wage. When you have one person closing who has been on their own for eight hours, you should not expect them to get everything done all the time. And the whole thing with the trash? Big effing deal. Just have one of the TWO lot associates you have in the morning take it down to receiving. Having opened before, I know that the store is pretty much dead for the first 2-3 hours so they'll have plenty of time.

I don't mind being the only person on the lot on Sundays, but if you're going to do that, you better cut me some slack if I don't get everything done.
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2020, 01:48 PM
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We also get paid 15-minute breaks--while it's not a requirement, it must be 'offered' as in we can take one if we need to without penalty. The wording of that statute is open enough that it's ultimately up to the employer, but I still can't figure out if we get one or not. It seems to be on a person-to-person basis (X can chill for 15, Y gets the side-eye if they do, Z gets followed by D3 so if they do try to take 15 it has to look like work)

D2 said she got a verbal warning for taking her 15 (sounds like the same situation as yours "oh you shouldn't have taken a break because there's stuff to do")...so most people's shifts have been reduced to 7 hours or less (IIRC the paid-15 officially comes into play at 7+ hours).
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Last edited by Dreamstalker; 03-04-2020 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 03-05-2020, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
It seems to be on a person-to-person basis (X can chill for 15, Y gets the side-eye if they do, Z gets followed by D3 so if they do try to take 15 it has to look like work)
I think that's how it works where I am. As you can tell, I'm in Z group and that wasn't the first time that has happened. I once got scolded for taking a few minutes to have a snack while on the floor. Another time, we had a slow day, most of the carts were in and there weren't any customers needing assistance. I decided to chill with another coworker, but that was a no no according to a supervisor. We can't be seen standing around for five minutes, even if there's no urgent need to do anything because "you can always find something to do here". This coming from a guy who frequently disappears for hours (apparently helping other departments). Not to mention all the other employees standing around much longer and not getting crap.
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Old 03-05-2020, 03:45 PM
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One of our lot attendants at the wholesale club-- it was Pathological Liar, IIRC-- got lumped in group Y by our managers and supervisors. For all his faults, PL did get his work done. But I got to witness one of PL's interactions with a manager. PL had just brought a load of carts up to the store and had popped in to gulp down some water from his bottle.

Management: (on radio) "Jay, tell PL to get back to work!"
PL: (grabs radio from me) "[Manager], I'm just getting a drink of water, is that all right?!"
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Old 03-05-2020, 07:44 PM
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Jay, an employer cannot deny reasonable bathroom or water breaks. Not that mine hasn't tried...

I seem to either be in the Y or Z group...if you need to make a paid-15 look like work than there might as well not even be the option -_- Our law on that is vague enough that both sides would be correct.

Even when some of us are clocked out on lunch, we get 'monitored' in the form of D3 poking his head into the break room, looking at whichever of us is in there--it's clear he's not just idly glancing around--and walking off.
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2020, 08:31 PM
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Situations like these are why I enjoy working in New Zealand. By law, employers are required to give staff 1 x 30min unpaid break and 2 x paid breaks of not less than 10minutes per 6-8 hour shift. My current job at golden arches gives 2x15 and 1x30, and keeps records of breaks taken - if a break is missed, the manager gets a "please explain".
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