Policy requiring staff to stay in building during break, referred to as ‘bull****’
The internet slammed a supervisor after an employee shared that he was told he wasn’t allowed to leave the workplace during his break.
A Reddit user shared the story on the popular r/antiwork forum on Thursday where it received 20,000 upvotes and thousands of comments.
In the post, the employee wrote, “My supervisor at Carl’s Jr. is telling everyone we can’t leave the building on our 30 minute lunch break.”
They continued, “Just before I left work today, my supervisor told everyone that she forgot to mention that the new district manager didn’t want anyone leaving the building on their lunch break. I kinda looked at her for a second because I thought she was joking, she reassured everyone that she wasn’t and that’s a new rule.”
A Carl’s Jr. spokesperson said Newsweek“Carl’s Jr. has both company-owned and franchised locations. Although we cannot speak of independently owned and operated franchisees, Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC corporate policy states that employees in California are relieved of all duties during meal periods and breaks and are permitted to leave the premises.
“Any Company-owned restaurant employee who believes there has been a violation of this policy should immediately report the matter to our Human Resources department. Reported violations will be thoroughly investigated and corrective action will be taken if necessary.”
In the United States, 25 states have break laws. The problems with breaks, from what you can do on a break to whether or not you get one, often lie in the fact that no federal law requires your boss to give you a break.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) covers most types of employees and contains particular notes regarding break requirements. It does not prohibit employers from requiring workers to remain on site during their break time.
However, depending on the application of a policy such as this, the obligation to remain on site during a break could result in the employee being considered “on call” and therefore compensable.
According to the Hours Worked Section of the FLSA: “An employee who is required to remain on the premises of his employer or so close to his employer that he cannot use his time effectively for his own purposes is working on call”, but they state that: “It is not necessary for an employee to be allowed to leave the premises if they are otherwise completely released from their duties during the meal period.
They also explain that, for example: “Some employees are required to stay on the employer’s premises or at a location controlled by the employer. An example is a hospital employee who is required to stay in the hospital in a While on call, the employee may sleep, eat, watch television, read a book, etc., but is not allowed to leave the hospital.
“Other employees may leave their employer’s premises but must stay within a few minutes or several miles of the facility and be reachable by telephone or pager. An example of this type of employee is a apartment maintenance who must wear a pager while on call and must stay a certain number of miles from the apartment complex.”
“Ask for a written copy of this policy,” one Reddit user suggested in the comments. While another asked, “How are you supposed to have a healthy lunch if you can’t leave the building?”
“Happened to me once at work,” another commenter shared. “So I lit a joint in the employee cafeteria. I got fired on the spot. 10/10 would still do.”
“You can’t leave the building?! Taurus ****. Act like you forgot she told you, then if they say it again, laugh and ignore them,” another user said. from Reddit.
Newsweek contacted the poster on Reddit for comment.