Can management require only one department to clock out and back in for breaks when breaks are paid?

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Can management require only one department to clock out and back in for breaks when breaks are paid?

Railroad tie treatment plant was
informed about having to clock out and
in for breaks whereas the rear of the
company doesn’t have to. Feel like it’s
discriminating against the treating
department.

Asked on August 8, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Does this action constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination? In other words, is the differing treatment based on employees' race, religion, national origin, gender, age (over 40), disability or the like.? If not, then giving some employee's greater or lesser rights in the workplace is legally permissable. The fact is that not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly. In an "at will" employment setting, a company can set the terms of employment much as it sees fit. This includes, having some employees sign out for break time and not others (assuming that specific state law does not provide otherwise). The exeception to such an action would be if it violates the terms of an empoyment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement.


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