Tonia Wildrick Bellevue University Proposed Legislation for Employee Breaks National Break and Rest Period Act (NBRPA)
Effects of technology on U.S. workers • Available to employers 24/7 • Working during time off • Skipping meals • Reduced personal care • Physical illness • Mental illness
Proposed Legislation Federal legislation to protect employee breaks and rest periods This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA
6 hrs - 7.5 hrs = 15 min paid break 8 hrs – 11.75 hrs = 30 min unpaid break 12+ hrs = 60 min unpaid break or two 30 min unpaid breaks NBRPA Employers with 10 or more employees must follow federal break minimums
Must have official documented exception from the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement • Examples: • Life threatening situations • Medical field • National Security Exceptions
Planning • Analysis • Implementation • Monitoring • Enforcement • Auditing • Investigations • Personnel • Equipment • Training / Posters Cost Considerations $2.5 billion additional funding for the FLSA in the Department of Labor
Consequences of unregulated break time • Employee • Job Stress / burn-out • Cardiovascular disease • Low levels of control • Mental exhaustion • Frustration • Feelings of isolation • Increased workplace accidents • Workplace violence • Insufficient sleep • Strained relationships
Employer Workplace injuries Absenteeism Increased health care costs Lost productivity Lower creativity & innovation Lower motivation Reduced levels of ability to learn new tasks / memory
29% of workers report they are “extremely stressed” at work • Over 50% of workers spend over 12 hours/day on work related duties • Employees who take regular breaks report higher job satisfaction • Breaks improve problem solving ability • Breaks reduce tension & stress • Breaks improve focus • Breaks reduce stress & anxiety when employees can check-in with aging parents, children, family & friends • Breaks reduce employee depression • Workers who take time off for stress or anxiety average 20 missed days Did you know?
Only 25 states enforce laws regarding break times! California has the most employee protections for breaks & rest periods
2005 Walmart $172 million • 2013 Starbucks $3 million • 2014 FedEx $2.1 million • 2015 AlliedBarton $11 million • 2016 ABM Security Services Inc. $90 million Lawsuits over break times This Ph
Why don’t employees speak up? • Fear of retaliation • Fear of not being promoted • Perception that they will be judged as less dedicated
Consider breaks when scheduling employees • Recognizing employee stress • Follow a documented break schedule • Follow State Laws if they are stricter than Federal Laws • Encourage employees to take regular breaks • Do not interrupt break times unless necessary • Happy Employees = Happy Customers Employer Responsibilities
What can I do? Push for Federal Legislation for minimum employee breaks. Provide training to supervisors and managers on the importance of breaks and rest periods. Promote awareness of the benefits of breaks for employees & employers. Value people over profit!
Employees have been shown to thrive when employers do not force them to choose between excelling at work and family or personal time, but make it possible to incorporate both into their daily routine.
References Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018). TED: The Economics Daily. Retrieved November 1, 2018 from https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/there-were-500-workplace-homicides-in-the- united-states-in-2016.htm California meal break law class action lawsuit. Berger and Montague PC. Cases and Investigations. Retrieved 10/21/18 from https://bergermontague.com/cases/california- work-breaks-lawsuits-meal-breaks-rest-breaks/ FY 2018 Department of Labor Budget in Brief (2018). Retrieved November 1, 2018 from https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/FY2018BIB.pdf Kossek, E. E. (2016). Managing work-life boundaries in the digital age. Organizational Dynamics45 (258-270). Retrieved October 15, 2018 from https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/82147160.pdf Largent, R. E. (2016). California Supreme Court: On-call rest breaks are not permissible. Retrieved October 21, 2018 from https://www.callaborlaw.com/entry/california-supreme- court-on-call-rest-breaks-are-not-permissible Pendem, P., Green, P., Staats, B. & Gino, F. (2016). The Microstructure of work: How unexpected breaks let you rest, but not lose focus. Harvard Business School. Retrieved October 19, 2018 from https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/the-microstructure-of-work-how-unexpected-breaks-let-you-rest-but-not-lose-focus
References…continued Selig, M. (2017). How do work breaks help your brain? 5 Surprising answers. Psychology Today. Retrieved October 19, 2018 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers Stress…At Work. (2014). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Retrieved November 1, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/99-101/ Supreme Court Issues Decision on Employee Rest Periods (2017). California Dental Association. Retrieved October 21, 2018 from https://www.cda.org/NewsEvents/Details/tabid/146/ArticleID/3677/Supreme-Court-issues-decision-on-employee-rest-periods.aspx Working America. Retrieved October 19, 2018 from https://www.workingamerica.org/fixmyjob/working conditions/no-breaks/ Workplace Stress. (2018). The American Institute of Stress. Retrieved October 31, 2018 from https://www.stress.org/workplace-stress/