Can I be fired for skipping a break?

I work at a charity poker room. Last week i was dealing blackjack and the people at my table were winning. I turned down a break when the “break dealer” came around because I was making good money in tips. Can I be fired for this? Do I have any way to fight?

Asked on July 14, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are an employee at will - meaning you have no contract covering you (union or otherwise), then you can be fired for any reason what so ever by your employer.  I would consult with an attorney in your area.  The breach may be complaince by your employer with a state law that the do not wish to violate.  Good luck.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is entirely possible for an employee to be terminated from his or place of employment for not taking state mandated breaks when requested. From the employer's point of view such a refusal could be deemed insubordination by the employee warranting the employee's termination.

You can make a claim with the department of labor for wrongful termination if you are fired for refusing to take state mandated breaks. However, most likely you will lose from what you have written. I suggest that you abide by the requirements of your employer in the future.


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