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#1 of 7 Old 03-12-2004, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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At my job I have been working 8-5. Starting a few weeks ago, after my baby had surgery, I asked to work 8-4 for awhile. My boss said OK. It worked out so well, that I asked if I could keep doing it & he said, OK. Now, this morning I come in & there's an e-mail from him...

After we discussed your making your 8-4 schedule semi-permanent it occurred to me that I think there is a prohibition against schedules with no lunch period for non-exempt employees. I checked with HR and he does not think there is actually a prohibition against this schedule, that 4-5 or 4-4:30 could be considered the “lunch period,” but that he does not think schedules like that should be permitted. The reason is that in most or many instances the employee would likely end up taking a lunch break of some kind anyway and not working his FLSA hours. Even if this isn’t an issue for you, it likely would be an issue for others if it were generally allowed, and if it is allowed for one it would have to be allowed for others.

I’m not sure but I don’t believe we have permitted no-lunch schedules in our flex time, although I don’t know if we have a policy against it. But I do think allowing you to do this sets a precedent and we would have to allow it for others.

There are a couple of ways we could go with this. You could alter
your schedule to include a half-hour lunch period, which would be my preference, working 8 to 4:30.

The other alternative would be to discuss this as an issue of agency flex time policy to see if we are allowing others to do it, and if not, whether we would want to have a policy allowing it or not.

Please think about it and let’s discuss on Monday.
OK, here's my argument (what there is of it). Can you help me think of some justification - or am I just out of line?

*Lunch hours are unpaid, Labor Law does not require I take one, so legally I'm entitled to work thru it.
*Others here take at LEAST 2 15-min. breaks during the day that are paid for when they're away from their desk - I never have (basically I don't have the time & don't like the interruption).

Do you think they can really "Make" me take a lunch? Probably, huh?

Grrrr.... I liked having an extra hour a day to spend with my daughter!! I feel guilty enough having to work at all & it's been just wonderful being able to have some time with her everyday while she's awake that we can just spend together where I don't have to be running around doing anything else. I'm just heartbroken!

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#2 of 7 Old 03-12-2004, 12:13 PM
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Im not sure that I have any helpful thoughts on this but....
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#3 of 7 Old 03-12-2004, 12:22 PM
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Yikes. I don't know any details of the laws either. I hope you can work towards something that satisfies everyone. It does sound like your boss is trying to work with you on this. I'd say to into the meeting with a "let's work together" attitude instead of confrontational. Bring up your points about the labor laws and breaks, but in a matter of "what can we work out?" manner.

Good luck.
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#4 of 7 Old 03-12-2004, 12:41 PM
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ITA agree with Geofizz. It does sound like he's willing to work with you on this. I do understand his point: he'll get whiny complaints from others if there is even a hint of "you got something we didn't get". Sad, but true.

I think you should encourage him to look further into the policies, since it seems he's not entirely sure about them. Try to work with him on this. I guess 4:30 is still earlier than 5!

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#5 of 7 Old 03-12-2004, 12:48 PM
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Good luck with this but I would say that you are really lucky to have a boss that seems to want to work with you on this. Any time I have tried to bring up a schedule change with my boss it's a nightmare--what you do for one you would have to do for all regardless of what the circumstance is.

I'm surprised about the labor laws. I know that hourly employees must be given a 30 minute break every five or six hours but maybe this doesn't extend to non-exempt employees.

If it has to be 4:30 at least that is better than nothing. I would try to get the 8-4 schedule as long as you can but agree that eventually you need to go to 4:30.

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#6 of 7 Old 03-12-2004, 12:52 PM
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I agree with Piglet & Geo.

My other question is, can you come in a half hour early? I have been doing that now that my ds wakes up at 5:30 so that I can be home an extra hour with him in the evening.

Just a thought.

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

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#7 of 7 Old 03-12-2004, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Everybody!

I told him I'd work till 4:30 today & here's his reply...

4:00 is OK today, we just need to discuss and decide how to handle on an ongoing basis. If the 4:30 schedule works for you then switching to that would be fine with me. If you want to stay with the 8-4 though we need to deal with the departmental policy issue. Why don’t you just plan to do 8-4:30 beginning next week then we can discuss Monday and see if we want to something different.
So he really is trying to work with me (although if he'd just kept his big mouth shut, this wouldn't even have been an issue.) But, I digress... I've been doing some hunting & here's what I've found. Maybe this will come in handy for others, too!

(BTW: Non-exempt employees are the hourly kind. Exempt employees are people like staff & supervisors, etc.)

The Fair Labor Standards Act does NOT require meals. Now some states DO, so you have to check on your state, but my state doesn't. US. DOL

I then when and looked at the on-line stuff for a few different places around here that are closely related to where I work & I found some interesting stuff:

One says: "If a non-exempt employee sits at their desk during his/her lunch period and answers business calls and the supervisor is aware of this, the entire lunch period must be considered work time and must be appropriately compensated."

Another says: "A lunch period shall be provided to each employee and, unless prior approval is received, employees may not forego the lunch period in order to shorten the work day."

I HOPE & PRAY I can talk him into getting the "policy" changed! I want more time with my baby (heck, who can blame me, huh?)!
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