What happens if you refuse to take 15 minute rest break ?

HR trying to punish me for waiving second 15 minute rest break in 6 1/2 hour shift.

Asked on December 4, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

The fact is that absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, an employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Accordingly, your employer can determine when you should work and when you should not work. If this is not acceptable to you, you can either complain about or refuse to follow your employer's instructions regarding breal time but risk discipline (up to and including termination), or you can quit. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You could be terminated (or, at your employer's option, anything "less than" termination like demotion, suspension, etc). The employer, not employee, determines when you work, when there are breaks etc. You cannot work when your employer says you should be on break and they could discpline or terminate you for not following directions.

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