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New Hampshire Republicans Propose Bill To Eliminate Workers’ Lunch Breaks

Posted by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:01 PM
  • 7 Replies

 

New Hampshire Republicans Propose Bill To Eliminate Workers’ Lunch Breaks

New Hampshire’s GOP legislature has come up with all manner of absurd bills recently, including a proposalmaking public school curriculum optional, another toprevent police from protecting domestic abuse victims, and even a measure mandating that new laws bebased on the Magna Carta. Some of the Granite State’s GOP lawmakers have even proposed doing away withthe law that requires employers to give their workers time off for lunch, under the rationale that all employers will simply grant lunch breaks out of the goodness of their hearts:

This is an unneeded law,” [Republican state Representative Kyle Jones] said. “If I was to deny one of my employees a break, I would be in a very bad position with the company’s human resources representative. If you consider that this is a very easy law to follow in that everyone already does it, then why do we need it? Our constituents have already proven that they have enough common sense to do this on their own.”

The bill’s sponsor, state representative J.R. Hoell, argued that companies failing to provide lunch breaks would be shamed over social media, thus rendering the law unnecessary. “If they are not letting people have lunch, they could put it out though the news media, though social media. I don’t think that abusive behavior would continue, the way communications are today,” he said.

Of course, not every employer can be counted to to follow even the easiest of requirements to look after workers’ health and rights. Back in 2005, Walmart was forced to pay $172 million for denying workers their lunch breaks. Pyramid Breweries Inc. settled a case in 2008for $1.5 million. Just a few months ago, California ordered Embassy Suites to pay workerstens of thousands of dollars for forcing them to skip breaks.

“The fact that in 2012, I would be even sitting in front of the Labor Committee talking about eliminating the lunch hour is outrageous,” said Mark MacKenzie, New Hampshire’s state AFL-CIO representative. “People should at least be able to be given the opportunity to eat.” Fortunately, the bill does not seem too appealing to most of the New Hampshire legislature, and the state House’s labor committee adjourned yesterday without voting on it.

by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 7:01 PM
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Friday
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Riight because employers would never take advantage of their employees.


Mamawto4
by Bronze Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:32 PM

I would love to see a law saying that employees don't have to take a mandatory lunch break if they don't want to, and either go home after 8 hours or stay for the 8.5 with a break if they chose to take one.  I've had a few jobs that I wished I didn't have to take a lunch break.  But many people want and need a break throughout their day so I wouldn't want to see a law allowing the employers the right to choose is anyone gets a break or not.

Mommy_of_Riley
by Just Jess on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:38 PM
Now that's a good idea!

Quoting Mamawto4:

I would love to see a law saying that employees don't have to take a mandatory lunch break if they don't want to, and either go home after 8 hours or stay for the 8.5 with a break if they chose to take one.  I've had a few jobs that I wished I didn't have to take a lunch break.  But many people want and need a break throughout their day so I wouldn't want to see a law allowing the employers the right to choose is anyone gets a break or not.

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TruthSeeker.
by CM Junkie on Feb. 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM
Quoting Mamawto4:

I would love to see a law saying that employees don't have to take a mandatory lunch break if they don't want to, and either go home after 8 hours or stay for the 8.5 with a break if they chose to take one.  I've had a few jobs that I wished I didn't have to take a lunch break.  But many people want and need a break throughout their day so I wouldn't want to see a law allowing the employers the right to choose is anyone gets a break or not.



I don't take a lunch break. I just take a quick 15 and snarfle down my food and take the extra half hour pay.
JakeandEmmasMom
by Gold Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 9:00 PM

 Right.  He knows full well that if people complained about not getting a lunch break the response would be, "Well, the company is following the law in that state.  They don't have to offer lunch breaks."

Ridiculous.

Carpy
by Ruby Member on Feb. 8, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Or as in the case of Cooper Ind rubber products (cooper tires) the union can negotiate that right away and save the law makers the trouble

txmom-o-3
by on Feb. 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

 Only 21 states mandate that employers give employees lunch breaks.  The other 29 states leave it up to the employer rather they will offer or mandate lunch breaks.  I have worked for companies that required employees take one, and I've worked for companies that didn't require it, I could take one, or I could work through it and leave early that day, or leave early on Fridays.  I personally agree that most companies would still continue to mandate lunch breaks. They do here. The alternative would be overtime, and most businesses do not like paying OT.

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