Feeling isolated and snowed in at work? We feel your cabin fever. Taking proper meal and rest breaks can seem impossible when you're busy caretaking an empty hotel all alone. But as an hourly employee, breaks are your right under the Fair Labor Standards Act!
Here's what the FLSA says your employer MUST provide:
For every 4 hours you work, get a 10-15 minute paid rest break to unwind, grab a snack from the pantry, make personal calls, or just recharge. For an 8-hour shift, take two rest breaks. 12-hour shift? Three breaks. Don't let work creep through them!
Every work period over 5 hours gets an unpaid 30-60 minute meal break to enjoy real food, not just dry provisions. This is not just a working lunch - stop duties entirely. 8 hours of work means getting at least one filling meal break.
If you're under 18, good news! FLSA rules say you get a 30-minute meal break every 5 hours, even if you fall short of 6 hours. And also a rest break every 4 hours.
Meal breaks should start within the first 5 hours of work. Don't let your boss “save” your break for the dead of night at the end of a long shift. Rest breaks come as needed throughout the day.
Report Missed Breaks
If duties prevent you from taking the FLSA-required rest and meal breaks, report it! You must be paid for missed rest breaks. And meal break denial can mean a labor law violation.
Remember, breaks promote health, safety, and better performance. Don't work yourself to a skeletal state - take the breaks you need and deserve. Bosses may grumble like ghosts, but the FLSA requires them. If you feel your rights as a worker are being violated by not receiving proper meal and rest breaks, don't suffer in isolation. Call on an employment lawyer who can rise to action like a supernatural hero and advise you on staking your rights. They can help you put a spell on employer wrongdoing and make sure you get the breaks the law guarantees. Don't stay silent in the shadows - make your voice heard and summon the relief you need. The isolation can end when you take action and drive a stake through unfair treatment. Don't be haunted by mistreatment - let an employment attorney give your employers a good scare!