Annals of California wage and hour law

by Walter Olson on September 16, 2012

Why “we recently were forced to institute an HR policy in California that working through lunch is a firing offense.” [Coyote]

{ 4 comments }

1 bob neal 09.16.12 at 12:25 pm

Interesting article – notably misses on the ADA piece as a service animal does not have to be licensed/certified. There is no universally recognized standard. there is a very militant group of miniature horse owners out there that insist they be allowed to bring their animals into retail and other service locations and the EEOC supports their position.

With regard to the wage/hour issue, they are rather late to the party. Most large employers in California have had similar policies in place for years, so as to avoid the ridiculous class actions which will bleed them dry.

2 Mannie 09.16.12 at 1:12 pm

With regard to the wage/hour issue, they are rather late to the party.

I remember discussing this with someone in the 70s. At the Welfare Dept they were required to take their 15 minute breaks, in addition to lunch, on pain of firing.

3 Suzanne Lucas--Evil HR Lady 09.16.12 at 2:30 pm

Like Bob said, the whole lunch thing is old hat. FLSA requires pay for all hours worked, whether your boss authorized it or not.

I don’t normally toot my own horn with links in comments, but I wrote about a real live case last January: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-57364513/can-you-be-fired-for-skipping-lunch/

Personally, I’d like to see the FLSA abolished and allow employees and employers to negotiate pay however they please, but I’m not holding out for that.

4 roy in nipomo 09.17.12 at 4:54 pm

In the late ’80s I remember hearing (from one of his former co-workers who became my supervisor) of an old-school police detective whose morning ritual involved: show up at work 30 min early, sit at his desk and eat a donut (actual number undisclosed), drink his coffee and read his newspaper. At the time of the start of his shift, he’d clear everything off and start work. The City’s HR told him he would be fired if he continued the practice as, under the law, they were supposed to pay him for just being at his desk.

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