The law in New Jersey does not explicitly force companies to provide their employees with breaks for rest or to eat. This means that employers must follow federal rules and laws regarding breaks while on the job. Today, we will explore the steps you should take if you are denied proper breaks at work in New Jersey.
The first thing you need to do is read your employee manual. This should have information in it regarding breaks provided by your employer. Most companies outline their break and lunch policies clearly for all to understand. Breaks lasting anywhere from five to 20 minutes are to be paid, according to federal law and are to be provided by employers.
Time taken to eat a meal, such as lunch, does not have to be paid. This is when the employee is relieved of their duties for the sole purpose of eating a meal. This means that the employee is not expected to eat at their desk or complete any work while eating.
Talk to your co-workers to find out if they are being denied breaks during the day. Ask them when their breaks are being denied and if they are being forced to eat at their desks. Once you do this, you can then talk to your immediate supervisor. Calmly explain that the company policy permits breaks.
If speaking to your supervisor gets you nowhere, it's time to stand up for your rights. It might be time to contact the state labor board to file a complaint. You could even file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
It's important to know the laws that your employer must follow in New Jersey, whether they are state or federal laws. This knowledge will help when you stand up for your rights against your employer for failing to provide you with the proper breaks during the workday.