What can I do legally if my employer does not allow me to have a 30 minute break.

I work 15 hours a day 7 days a week.My state law provides that, “Each employee shall have a 30 minute unpaid rest break or meal period if scheduled to work 6 hours consecutively, except in workplace environments that by their nature of business provide for ample opportunity to rest or take an appropriate break. The break shall not be scheduled during or before the first hour of scheduled work activity”. The employee handbook specifically states that we are to be given a 30 minute lunch break with 2 individual 15 minute breaks. My supervisor is top-level in company.

Asked on June 3, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your state law is as you say, and you are sure that under the law you are not classified as an "exempt" employee, then you can file a complaint with your state Department of Labor.  Now, you are probably afraid that you will be mistreated or fired after you do that.  Well every state protects those type of complaints under what is known as "whistleblower" statutes. That means that if you are fired after you complain you could have a lawsuit against them.  Good luck.

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