Is there a law where an employee and a company can agree to take a lunch after 8 hours and not six?
California Law states after 6 hours employee must receive a break. Can employee & company agree to change this? Please help.
I love to blame lawyers. (Except for my lawyer brother, who gives me free legal advice. He’s blameless.)
This really is a situation where the company’s hands are tied. (Presuming you are correct on California law, that it is six hours and not something different.) They can’t authorize you to skip your break.
In theory, this is because big, bad companies would force you to work until you dropped so the big good government steps in and saves us all, except for the poor couple trying to catch a flight to Oregon. (Now, let it be said, that to the best of my knowledge there is no law stipulating that a break must be taken at a precise time, just within a certain window. If United was scheduling breaks at the last possible moment then they are as stupid as the Consumerist story makes them out to be. Further more, the ticket agent was incompetent. Yes, she’s required to take a break. No, you don’t argue with the customer. When it became clear that he was going to argue, you say, “I’m sorry, sir. Let me get someone who can help you.” And then you walk away and get someone and then go on your break.)
I’m not a big fan of government regulations on such things. I think that there are enough people, like you, who would prefer to work 7.5 hours straight and then go home, rather than working 5 hours, take a half hour, unpaid break, and then work 2.5 more hours. I used to beg to do that, but to no avail, back in my hourly days. I think that we should acknowledge that at will employment runs two ways. If I don’t like how a company is treating me, I can walk away from it. Further more, if they don’t want to accommodate my break prefences, they can terminate me. We’re all grown ups here.
Yes, I know about how people were treated in the coal mines and meat packing plants and I’ve read all about the factory fires. I think we’ve moved a little beyond that when we’re micromanaging how breaks must be taken.
But, in short, no you can’t. Take your break. Bring a good novel. And furthermore, don’t work when you are on break. It causes the same problems.