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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116727
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I am employed by the Office of Children and Family Services.

Customer Question

I am employed by the Office of Children and Family Services. I do not get a designate lunch break; as my supervision schedules my transportation in such a manner that should I want to have lunch, I would have to drive and eat. That is unsafe for me and my clients.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the information. Can you tell me what your specific legal question is? Also,are you saying the your Agency mandates a meal break and that you are not paid for that mandatory meal break whether you take it or not? Finally, are you exempt or non-exempt?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Everyone else does get a lunch break. About being exempt or non-exempt, I don't quite understand that question. In answer to whether I am paid when I don't have the time for a lunch break due to lack of thought in my supervisor's scheduling. No I am not paid when I don't take a lunch break !
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply, however, some of your responses were not clear to me. Please keep in mind that I am trying to help you so your patience would be appreciated. What I still need to understand is if your employer has an official policy that says all employees will take a lunch break and if they do, if they automatically take that period out of your pay? So, for example, someone works 8-4:30 with a meal break built into their wages so that they are only paid for 8 hours versus 8.5.
Exempt versus non-exempt makes a difference here. Exempt is salaried and non-exempt is hourly.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As to my specific question I stated it quite candidly before. I do transportation for OCS, my supervisor does not put any thought into scheduling my transportation, I do not have a lunch break 95% of my normal work week. I am salaried. Please pardon me if I appear impatient. I work from when transportation is scheduled until I am finished. A couple weeks ago I had to travel to Natchez, I left my home at 4 in the a. m. in order to get my client where he needed to be for 7.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 2 years ago.
I apologize but we still seem to be having some communications issues since I am not getting answers to all of my specific questions. Therefore I will go ahead an opt out so that another Expert might be able to garner enough information to assist you. Apologies for the delay, but someone will let you know as soon as they have selected your question.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I had to turn right around and return to Natchez the same day to pick that child up; when my work assignment stated that a Monroe transportation worker would return the child to Carville LA. This additional information is to give you an idea of the fact that I must eat while driving, if I am to comply to my transportation request in a timely manner.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your assistance. I was under the assumption that a lunch break is afforded everyone, at any job. As others in my office does have that liberty, I assumed I would also.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. It appears your previous expert has had to leave and I am a different contributor who is looking forward to assisting you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Under Louisiana law and federal employment law, there are no statutes that mandate breaks of any kind for employees. Thus, the Louisiana employer does not have to provide mandatory lunch periods for any employees. Similarly (and as a former LA State Civil Service Employee I am familiar with this as well) there are no provisions in the LA Civil Service code mandating a state employer provide a lunch break for an employee. The employer may allow employees to take lunch when available and that break may be paid or unpaid, but it is not mandatory. So if there is no time where you can work in lunch in between runs, the employer is not legally mandated to provide you a lunch break time by either LA or US law I am afraid (this is an assumption many employees make and they are shocked to find out the law does not provide them such benefits).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you...I stand corrected.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
It is not something many employees understand, as there is a lot of rumor out there as to what employees believe they have a right to receive from their employer. Unfortunately, the laws are not as favorable to employees as the employees would believe they should be.
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