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What to do if you’re denied breaks at work

| Feb 17, 2020 | Wage & Hour Laws |

While employers in New Jersey are not required by law to provide rest or meal breaks, most understand the importance of doing so. Not only does it keep company morale high, but it also gives workers the opportunity to rest their mind and body.

If you’re denied breaks at work, regardless of the reason, here’s what you need to do:

  • Review your employee handbook: You should be able to find information on your company’s policy regarding breaks. This should give you everything you need to determine if your rights as an employee are being denied.
  • Talk to your supervisor: Let them know about the situation and how it’s impacting your ability to do your job. They may take steps to immediately make it right.
  • Go to the human resources (HR) department: If your supervisor can’t or won’t help, report your issue to the HR department. Let them know that you’re being denied breaks, despite the language in your handbook or contract stating that you are entitled to these.

In many cases, all it takes is a conversation with your supervisor and/or HR department to clear the air and ensure that you get the breaks you’re entitled to in the future.

However, depending on the stance your employer wants to take, they may have to continue to fight for the right to take breaks since there are no state or federal laws in place to protect your right to them.

If you find that your employer is in the wrong, such as by breaching the terms of your contract, you may want to consider taking legal action to protect yourself.

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