Great Moments in Government Regulation
Business owner and blogger Warren Meyer explains at his Coyote Blog how the California Department of Labor forces employers to force employees to take an unpaid 30-minute lunch, even when employees want to work through lunch and get paid and employers agree. Here's part of Warren's post:
Theoretically, under California law, employees have a choice - work through lunch and get paid while eating at the job post, or employees can leave the job post for 30 minutes for an unpaid lunch break. As background, every one of our employees have always begged to have the paid lunch because they need the extra 30 minutes of pay.HT: Morgan Frank
Unfortunately, it does not matter what preferences the employee expressed on the job site. In the future, the employee can go to the labor department and claim he or she did not get their break, and even if they did not want it at the time, and never complained to the employer about not getting it. The employer always, always, always loses a "he-said-she-said" disagreement in a California court or review board. Always.
So, we find ourselves at the bizarre crossroads of making working through lunch a fireable offense, and employees who generally want to work an extra thirty minutes each day to earn more money are not allowed to do so. Yet another example of laws that are supposed to be "empowering" to employees actually ending up limiting their choices.