Legal Advice/Worker's Rights

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by punk-a-doodle, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    So, my husband is currently working security. When he signed up for the job, it was made known that he has classes on such and such a day, and times, and that those would take priority. Recently, the company hired a whole bunch of people, and now that there are more people, workers are not getting their breaks. Makes perfect sense, right? [​IMG] They are currently working 14 hour days, seven days a week. His classes are off this week, but they will not be next week, yet the 14 hour days will still be occurring. This will 1. cut into his classes and 2. not leave him any time to sleep (you know...minor detail). He is not the only one in this boat, including about classes. He is definitely not the only one ticked off right now. They actually had him scheduled for 24 hours, until it was pointed out. It seems like the classic mix of 1. incompetency and 2. simply not caring/considering your workers for even a second. I absolutely can not stand that. Did not think this would be an issue with this company, but apparently it is. In the past, we worked security, and were denied even bathroom breaks and, not kidding, toilet paper. To quote, "we can't spend that kind of money on you". Electricity was not turned on for us for the same reasons, including heat in the dead of winter. Husband and I had to commute, work back to back 12 hour shifts, and trade off sleeping in the car. I remember brushing my teeth and changing since it was my turn to head to the car, and one of the managers stopped by. He talked at length about his vaulted ceilings and latest vacation (again, not kidding/elaborating), then looked at me and started getting angry as to why I was out of uniform. Had to explain that I was not on duty and remind him that my husband and I were working back to back shifts while he stared blankly. The level of disconnect is always absolutely amazing to me.

    At any rate, are any workers rights being violated here? Does anyone know of a site/forum/source I can ask about this specifically? All he'll want is to be able to fit in work, class, and sleep, and/or change jobs without making waves. On my end, I'm envisioning something more along the lines of having management stand in one spot for 14 hours while cattle prodding them (and the cattle prod would be the only addition to what they are doing to said workers), but that's just me.
  2. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2010
    Each state has it's own labor laws. Without knowing what state or type of job your in (there are all sorts of security jobs), I doubt anyone can help. Try googleing labor laws in your state.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  3. annanicole18

    annanicole18 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    Of course his rights are being violated. If you were over 10 hours it is federal law that you take a hour lunch. You also are entitled to 2 or 3 15 minute breaks. My company makes you sign a form weekly saying that the hours on the form are correct and that you have been offered every break and have taken the mandatory lunch. Just so you cannot come back and say that you were never allowed to take a lunch but you signed the paper so it must be true. If he wants to know what he is entitled to they also have to have a poster sign posted that shows what the federal laws are in an office or break room or what not. That poster being posted is federal law and they can get in trouble for not having it posted. US department of labor is the one to contact if they will not fix it or if he has questions about his rights.
  4. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Thanks Anna. We have that at my work place too (signed conformation of hours/breaks). I work at the Uni, and they tend to treat their workers pretty well. I have had nothing but issues with security jobs, though was hoping this one would be different, as they don't use the usual tricks I've seen. Things like hiring people who recently immigrated and can barely speak English let alone question things like their rights.

    I was pretty sure the 15 minute breaks were mandatory, as they make a big deal about us taking them at my job. I'm going to have him check for the poster, but the way the job works is that the security company headquarters are elsewhere. This is just a contracted site. I will have to look up if they are required to post it at sites their workers are at, or just at the main office. I'll also take a look at what ours says at my work place. I sure hope he says something, but he tends to prefer to leave quietly.

    And...I miscounted. It is actually 16 hours. [​IMG]
  5. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    Not all jobs are equal for starters. Security jobs are exempt from some requirements if the company can demonstrate that the worker is not being harmed by the omission. Security jobs usually fall in that area especially if it is a position that does not involve any physical work but making a few rounds or watching a monitor. If this is a larger company like Burns or Pinkerton they would not violate any rules usually. I bet they do not pay OT either which in most jobs is required after 8 hours or 40 hrs in a week but again security companies have different rules. Things may be different now days but I used to hire security for construction sites many years ago.
  6. WingingIt

    WingingIt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Does he have anything in writing stating they'll agree to schedule around his classes? That would be the best place to start, IMO. Good luck!
  7. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apparently, federal law has changed. It used to be that meal breaks were mandatory every 5 hours.

    Having said that, I will point out that there are other regulating agencies. OSHA comes to mind, as well as state laws. If you are in what OSHA refers to as a "hazardous occupation" you may only work 13 days without a day off. At any rate it hurts nothing to file a complaint with OSHA. You can do so anonymously.
  8. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Thanks for the help guys. You've given me some good places and things to let him know about and look at. He actually is getting paid OT, which is awesome...except his classes absolutely come first for the both of us. He's on my health insurance, and we are pretty good at doing the poor thing, so I'd rather have him have to quit than have to miss classes. But, if he can just have it back where he can do work/class/and sleep, that would obviously be optimal. Going to ask him if he has the class agreement in writing, and if not, definitely something to do for any future jobs.
  9. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Aha, seems the answer is...worker rights. We don't have them:

    8. Are employers required to provide rest breaks and meal periods?
    (The State I live in) Labor Commission Answer:

    There are no state or federal laws that require an
    employer to provide meal periods or rest breaks for adult employees (age 18 and older).
    Most employers in the interest of efficiency and good employee relations will establish a
    rest and/or meal period policy for their adult employees.
    U.S Department of Labor Answer:

    The FLSA does not require meal or rest breaks,
    holidays off or holiday work. Rest breaks of short duration, usually 20 minutes or less, are
    considered hours worked and should be compensated. Meal periods, typically 30 minutes or
    more, generally need not be compensated

    Will still look into it more.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  10. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    My hubby works for the company that won contracts with the Big Yellow company, working 8 hours, for one 10 min break in the morning, 20 min lunch (you ca not go off the premises, even go in your car to smoke or eat) and another 10 min break in the afternoon.

    For his 12 hour days, it is the same thing as the weekday. He works from Monday to Saturday.

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