Working Without A Break

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about breaks:

I am a cashier in a supermarket. It’s against company rules to request a short break, just to go to the bathroom. What can the employees do about that?

Signed, Need To Go!

Dear Need To Go!:

You may be working outside the United States, so we don’t know about those working laws. In the United States there are laws and regulations about breaks, although those vary from state to state. Consider looking at any laws and regulations that apply to your kind of work. You can usually find those on the Internet, referring to the Department of Labor for your country or state.

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Give Me A Break On Time

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about breaks:

I’ve set my break and lunch times with the belief this would make it “more efficient” to be covered for.

Well it turns out close to 50 percent of the time, I still have to call or ask someone to cover my breaks and lunch. This sounds minor, but I feel disrespected and frustrated when I have to call, because often folks aren’t at their desks, or they say ask someone else, or I’ll be right out, but its five minutes later.I feel many of my fellow co-workers are selfish as they operate in a “flex time’ most of the time, taking their breaks and lunch when it’s most convenient for them. I am not in this position to do that with my job responsibilities.I’ve suggested to the supervisor to “assign” some one each week for my breaks, so I would only have one person to deal with. She basically said she does not want to waste time and staff “assigning someone”. I think mostly she didn’t like a fair solution to the problem but what to do? Suggestions, thoughts? One other thing regarding breaks and long breakers: Should I care that others on a consistent basis take routinely five to fifteen minutes longer on their breaks than others and I do. Sure I have taken a long break before, but not on a consistent basis. Thanks as always.

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