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Break Time
Old 02-13-2008, 12:44 AM   #1
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Break Time

I know many on this board are salaried workers and may not get a structured break time but for those that do what do you get. I work in a blue collar job for 12 hrs and 6 minutes per day(4:54pm-5:00am). I get 1 thirty-minute break and 15 minutes personal time to be used thoughout the shift to attend to personal needs. Most people I talk to outside of work think this is rediculisly little amount of break time. My mom's old job gave her 3 30-minute breaks in an 8 hour shift. What do you think about what I get? What do you get?

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Old 02-13-2008, 05:20 AM   #2
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Need a little more info.......

What is the minimum requirement for relief periods mandated by the state of Wisconsin?

What are you doing at your job? Would difficult to stop and start equipment be involved?

With your 12+ hour shifts, I assume you work some kind of rotating days schedule. What is it?

Is your 30 min break paid? If management offered more break time, but unpaid, would you want to do that?

The company I retired from ran 12 hour shifts and gave employees one unpaid 30 min lunch and two paid 15 min breaks. This more than covered the requirements in Illinois.

"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:58 AM   #3
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We are required to work 7.5 hours a day with an unpaid hour lunch and two unpaid fifteen minute breaks. At least 90% of the people at work don't actually take breaks with the exception being those who smoke. Most people do take the full hour lunch, though.

I worked in cement plants in a few summers during college (blue collar position, not an internship). We got two fifteen minute breaks and a thirty minute lunch during the course of an eight hour shift. The breaks and lunch were unpaid. EVERYONE took the breaks and full lunch.

As for what I think of what you get, it seems a little light to me given that you're working a 12 hour shift. I'm actually pretty surprised at how little it is.
"...I'm the kind of guy who if he can't have too much of a thing doesn't want any at all."
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:28 PM   #4
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When I worked on an assembly line during summer vacations after High School, we worked an eight hour shift with 30 minutes (unpaid) for lunch and two ten minute breaks. That was in northern Illinois, 1964 and 65. The union stewards made sure that no one worked their breaks as IIRC doing so would give an employee an advantage over others.

I suggest that you take a really good look at the posters that your employer is required to post, and double check your rights through the internet websites of the agencies that publish the posters.

My current office is required to put up posters from federal, state and city agencies. The rules change constantly and we wind up buying a new set of posters every year ($70.00) and I download changes throughout the year and paste them onto the posters. This seems a little silly as my company only has one employee (me) but we take it very seriously.

BTY, there's an interesting sleeper of a movie from the mid '70s called "Blue Collar." It really tells it like it is on auto assemply lines but goes off into a caper story, the employees dream of escape from the incessant repetitious work and implement their plan.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:20 PM   #5
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Eons ago I worked a double shift at a plastic injection molding company on the west side of Chicago. One shift I was an assistant foreman and the employees (machine operators) got 30 minutes for lunch and a break when they needed it (bathroom). Duties of assistant foreman, among others, and 1 "floater" was to "break" the operators (usual about 4 to 6 of them). This amounted to about 1 hour in an 8 paid hour shift. On my other shift I was an operator/floater "breaking" and changing 2 ton molds, mixing material and colors. Basically, it was a 30 minute paid lunch, and two 15 minute paid breaks in an 8 hour shift. Two shifts 5 to 7 days a week did not give much time for travel so I spent many an "off-shift" sleeping on the top of 70 pound bags of plastic pallets - at 16 and 17 (I lied) it was fine. A carefree, fun time of life, back then.
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:11 PM   #6
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In California, by law, minimum of 30 minutes meal break (unpaid), two 10 minute rest periods (paid) on an 8 hour shift.

Lots of class action lawsuits going on regarding meal and rest periods. I believe the law was written for assembly type jobs, unfortunately, it does not exclude many other hourly workers (jobs) that have plenty of built in rest periods (idle time).


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