Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to assist you.
I completely appreciate your frustration regarding the lack of adequate breaks. However, I must unforutnately tell you that Washington law specifically allows employees of government entities in the state to enter into collective bargaining agreements that supersede the laws governing rest breaks. Specifically, RWC 49.12.187 provides: "Employees of public employers may enter into collective bargaining contracts, labor/management agreements, or other mutually agreed to employment agreements that specifically vary from or supersede, in part or in total, rules adopted under this chapter regarding appropriate rest and meal periods."
So, I'm afraid that if your labor agreement allows for the breaks schedule you describe then the break schedule would be legal. Your only remedy would be to advocate for union leadership to negotiate a different deal the next time your labor agreement is negotiated. I am truly sorry.
If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....
Are you still with me?
There is no liability because it is not against the law for your employer and your union to enter into an agreement that restricts breaks. I'm not saying that is the right agreement to enter into--indeed it seems dangerous for the reasons you describe--but there is no legal cause of action that arises from the facts you have described I am very sorry to say.
Again if there is anything more I can do for you just let me know. It's my pleasure....
I just wanted to followup with you to make sure that you did not have any further questions or concerns. For some unknown reason, the experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how we get credit for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not yet received either. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the site administrator.
In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed.
Very best wishes.