Tuesday, January 29, 2013

BW Video Preview: Give Me a (Lunch) Break

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 12:27 PM

A number of Idaho workers—including some state employees who said they were afraid to speak up—want Gem State lawmakers to give them a break ... literally.

Dubbed the "sandwich bill," proposed legislation would afford public and private workers in Idaho the opportunity to take a 30-minute unpaid break. No Idaho statute or U.S. labor law guarantees the privilege.

"It's true," said Marty Durand, labor attorney with Herzefled & Piotrowski, LLP. "The Fair Labor Standards Act sets the minimum wage and says that if you work more than 40 hours a week, you get overtime. But that's it. There's nothing about a break."

In fact, Durand has heard from a number of Idaho workers, including state employees who work through the lunch hour, not because they're getting overtime but because they're afraid to speak up about getting a break from the workplace.

"They're scared and their fear is well-grounded," she said.

In Wednesday's Boise Weekly, we examine the issue and learn more about the proposed measure, which is expected to surface soon before the House Commerce and Human Resources Committee.

[ Video is no longer available. ]

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