Labor Abuses Need to End with Changes to Law

I have had a weird experience with my former employer who flouted so many labor law regulations during my tenure before I was laid off in her process to relocate to Texas where the land is affordable, and the labor regulations are paper thin.

One of the issues is dealing with the policy where you need to clock out to get a drink of water or use the restroom from my former employer. This issue was one that was not part of my state complaint because I did not see any regulations in state law, but I realized that there was relevance in federal regulations in the Fair Labor Standards Act where breaks under 20 minutes are covered.

There is a case that was dealt with in 2017 called Acosta versus American Future Systems which had a similar situation where they allowed for unpaid “flex time” for employees to use the restroom, get a drink of water or have a smoke. If an employee is abusing the regulations of the FLSA where restroom breaks that should take three minutes end up being sixteen minutes or the water breaks are too frequent then an employer should discipline or terminate the employee instead of denying the lost time that the employee is clocking out for. The case made it where policies American Future Systems used were illegal contrary to FLSA rules.

The tragedy was that our Surpreme Court of the United States denied the request to hear this case nationwide in May of 2018, but they let the decision stand for the local circuit.

I appreciate employers who allow for reasonable restroom breaks once or twice a day separate from the paid breaks California requires, but not all employers are sensible creatures. This leads to the case of the need for regulation.

I am thinking that the Department of Labor blew me off because I am not a resident of the states that are part of the third judicial circuit where the decision is moot where I live. However, I do not have the money to bring a case all the way to the ninth circuit. So, I am looking for one of our Democratic Party members of congress in California to carry a bill to codify the decision from the third circuit nationwide.

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