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TAKING OUT BREAKS

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I AM A MANAGER AT A RETAIL STORE, MY QUESTION IS IF I DON'T TAKE A BREAK, MEANING DON'T CLOCK OUT DON'T LEAVE THE STORE AND CONTINUE TO WORK THE WHOLE TIME I AM SCHEDULED CAN MY EMPLOYER AUTOMATICALLY TAKE OUT 30 MIN TO AN HOUR....EVEN WHEN I AM THE ONLY MANAGER SCHEDULED THAT DAY?

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In future, please don't post in all caps.

Managers are in general typically exempt workers, but then again titles don't mean anything. You can discuss exactly what you do for a living with the state labor dept. to see whether you are in fact a non-exempt worker. If you are non-exempt, then you must be paid for all time worked. If you are exempt and are paid hourly (with hourly vs. salary being just a pay method), it's still not clear what you mean by "take out 30 min to an hour". If you're truly exempt, all the employer has to do is make sure you make at least $23,600 a year or $455 a week (though your state or locality may require a higher yearly/weekly compensation for an exempt worker).

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This happened to me several years ago. I was an Assistant Manager at a seasonal business. We were very busy at times and i wasn't able to take a lunch or my complete time allowed very frequently. My manager would deduct the time from my time card whether I took one or not. There was another employee who would leave for 2 hours at a time and she would never deduct it from his check. Sounds like discrimination,right? Well in the state of WI it is perfectly legal to treat employees "in a unique way". That is what the Dept of Workforce Development told me. The only thing I could have done had I known at the time was if I didn't take a lunch and told them, then they couldn't deduct the time. They said that since you are scheduled to take an hour lunch then the company can deduct it whether you clock out or not.

Contact your state labor board and see what they say...

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"My manager would deduct the time from my time card whether I took one or not."

Not lawful, obviously.

"Sounds like discrimination,right?"

Not all discrimination is unlawful; if manager was doing that just because he-she liked the other worker, not unlawful. If the manager was treating you differently simply because of your race, gender, religion, etc., that would be unlawful.

"Well in the state of WI it is perfectly legal to treat employees "in a unique way"."

It's lawful everywhere.

"They said that since you are scheduled to take an hour lunch then the company can deduct it whether you clock out or not."

They're wrong about that. If you're a non-exempt worker, you're entitled to pay for all time worked (an assistant manager wouldn't typically be an exempt worker; even if you were an exempt worker, you'd be paid a set weekly salary regardless of how many or how few hours you worked (unless you were taking off entire days for personal reasons and didn't have leave to use). I'd write to the director of the dept. you spoke with about this to re-educate his-her staffers.

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I was just responding to the original poster with my experience. I was paid hourly. This happened several years ago and it is not a concern to me anymore. I work for a very large company now who has strict policies in regard to hours worked.

I did find the original e-mail that was sent to me by the State of WI Labor Dept.

Here is what they said:

Some employers use a "negative time reporting system" when it comes to

reporting meal breaks. Under this system the employer assumes the

employee received a 1/2 hour meal break unless the employee writes on

the time card "no meal break" for that day. Such systems are legal. If

that is what your employer is using it would be

okay. It would be up to

you to write on your time card "no meal break" each day you didn't

receive one.

Assuming you write this on the time card it would be illegal for your

employer to still deduct a 1/2 hour meal break from your time worked

each day.

Right or wrong I was just responding with what I was told. I also am aware that it is hard to prove discrimination unless it is based on sex, race..etc.

The original poster needs to contact his State Labor Dept.

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Letting the poster know what your experience was is fine. And I was just in turn commenting on what you posted (as though it were any other query).

If the poster is known to be from WI, great; otherwise, noting what WI folks told you doesn't really help the poster.

If the employer KNOWS you didn't take your meal break, it was acting unlawfully; obviously, it's free to assume you're taking breaks as scheduled or required and it's up to you to let them know you aren't if they don't. Regardless of what they believed or didn't believe at the time, if you weren't paid for time worked, you were free to file a wage claim.

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