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Thread: Forced lunch half hour

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    Thumbs down Forced lunch half hour

    With the busy time of the year upon us, Word has come down from the bean counters that they have decided to force everyone to take 1/2 hour lunches whether you eat or continue working. Some part of the day you have to punch out for 1/2 hour use it or not.another way to pad the bottom line of corporate.They say it is to refresh your motor for the rest of the day.If all are like the majority of locators,We rarely ever stop for lunch or breaks during this time of year but they are forcing it upon us.Figuring you are losing 1/2 hour of pay per day adds up to quit the yearly bonus for our bean counters.If they only knew how much it was or is going to cost them to enforce this.I.E lost productivity from the amount of revenue lost because of damages from losing your momentum as a result of taking lunch or even Co. paid breaks that most don"t even use.Also the amount of tickets that won"t get done as a result of stopping for lunch. So what are some of everybody"s thoughts on this program.Am I wrong about thinking this way or what. Just VENTING I guess..............
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    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    USIC started this last year - I take the full 30. It just causes me to work 30 minutes later every day.
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    Member PokerAdam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    I bet if everyone turns off the phone, or leaves it in the vehicle for this half an hour, this "policy" will end soon enough.

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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    According to most company policies, if your lunch break is interrupted by your supervisor or an emergency, then you can clock back in, no matter how short your lunch break was. Sometimes I take a lunch, sometimes I don't.

    I started turning my phone off during my lunch breaks and my sup tried to write me up because I missed an emergency for a MAJOR water main break. I told hm "Oh well, let me handle my lunch policy and it won't happen again, but if I am off the clock, my phone is either off, or it its on and rings, then I clock back in...
    "No, installing your fence is NOT an emergency"...

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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    I took a lunch today. Just long enough to eat a turkey sandwich and then I'm on the road again. I felt like I was screwing off.

    I think (conspiracy theory) the management knows that people who are under the gun will clock out for lunch but still keep on working. I've done it myself.

    If you are required to take a half hour off and it doesn't matter what time of day. Take it at the end of the day.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Senior Member locator_smbk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    I took a lunch today. Just long enough to eat a turkey sandwich and then I'm on the road again. I felt like I was screwing off.

    I think (conspiracy theory) the management knows that people who are under the gun will clock out for lunch but still keep on working. I've done it myself.

    If you are required to take a half hour off and it doesn't matter what time of day. Take it at the end of the day.
    I used to do this when I actually liked the company I work for. Now, if I am off the clock, I don't do anything work related. If I get an emergency or my sup pulls up tot talk to me, I clock in.

    If I am forced to take my lunch break sitting in my truck, the engine and heat/AC is running the entire 30 minutes.

    Most of the companies will specifically tell you that you cannot take your lunch break at the end of the day. Some sups even try to tell you that you can only take your lunch between 11 and 1. I was once even told that I had to clock out for lunch, THEN drive to where I wanted to eat, yeah right.....
    "No, installing your fence is NOT an emergency"...

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    "It's call BEFORE you dig, not AFTER you've hit something."


    Yes, my avatar does describe my attitude towards many others...

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    Quote Originally Posted by locator_smbk View Post
    I used to do this when I actually liked the company I work for. Now, if I am off the clock, I don't do anything work related. If I get an emergency or my sup pulls up tot talk to me, I clock in.

    If I am forced to take my lunch break sitting in my truck, the engine and heat/AC is running the entire 30 minutes.

    Most of the companies will specifically tell you that you cannot take your lunch break at the end of the day. Some sups even try to tell you that you can only take your lunch between 11 and 1. I was once even told that I had to clock out for lunch, THEN drive to where I wanted to eat, yeah right.....
    Equally there are those who will take a lunch and then put on the time sheet that they did not.

    You don't have to answer the phone if you are clocked out for lunch, that is working. Also you cannot know if the call is intentionally to call you off of lunch or some inquiry that need not interrupt lunch. The phone is company equipment and the employer can order you not to turn it off during lunch but you need not answer it, unless your employer requires you to go back on the clock should the phone ring during lunch.

    My firm sets a one hour lunch daily and during busy times sets it at 30 minutes. The minimum time any sup can set their workers lunch for at my firm is 30 minutes. This is set by corporate and the sup does not have the authority to change this.

    It is within the legal power of the employer to do this. Also to set the lunch time to an exact time or to within a certain time frame.

    I worked at a place that had no lunch break even working a 16 hour double shift. But they cannot prohibit an employee from eating at all so we got paid for eating at our work station.

    A required lunch may not be liked but it is legal and is a common practice at most firms in every industry.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    Our policy regards lunch drive time is flexible to fit the circumstance.


    If you stop for lunch withing a few blocks of along the way to the next job the time out for lunch is when you park the truck.

    If you want to drive 20 minutes to get to some place, and inversely drive 20 minutes back to your work area, the time starts when you start driving to lunch leaving 20 minutes to eat and 40 minutes drive time. Anyone thinks that is unfair consider you are putting wear and tear on a company vehicle and burning company gas. This is actually generous.

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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    From working for them and reading the post on the cablevine, it is my opinion usic usually does something for four reasons. 1. To save or make more money; 2. To suck up or appease a client; 3. To cover their asses with insurance or workman's comp; 4 The result of a class action suit or to prevent one.

    The clock in/clock out came bout because of the lengthy upload and down load times when we use to have to use dail-up. Uploading 70-100 tickets could take up to 45 minutes in the morning. For me it was the first thing I started and then hit the snooze button. i would do all I needed to get ready for work and by time I was ready it be done. As most of us we have little time for lunch and eat in the truck and never took a lunch since we were eating while driving to another ticket or while pulling up records. After a lawsuit about lunch they started requiring it. It was common to just let your last ticket run for an extra half hour while you drove home since most of us were trying to be as productive and needed all the minutes we could spare. They stopped that and I think had a window where you were to take lunch. The clocking out and then driving to your lunch spot was do to the fact that some would drive 45 minutes to the lunch spot and take their lunch and then clock back in and drive 45 minutes back to their area or drive to take a lunch with another locator. In any factory or office setting you clock out and drive to lunch spot and have lunch and drive back and be clocked in with in your lunch period, so their policy on that is not far out there. If you clock out and still work then the bean counters are thrilled.

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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    Pro, understand where you are coming from, BUT, if you take your lunch break on a four mile job you are considered on the job. No wear and tear on the vehicle, and you are there to clock in. Don't get me wrong, I am fully for making sure work gets done, but at the end of the day you are one person.
    I will not sacrifice working through my lunch, whether required or not. If you are locating "off the clock", get hurt, or even worse, there are no benefits to you or your family. YOU don't OWN these tickets. Remember, you were hired on to "protect facilities". If your company wants you to take shortcuts, and have potential damages, let them! Just get it in writing.

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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    To take this one more step,If a person were to punch out let's say @ noon,What would be the ramifications of taking your 2 - paid 15 min. breaks @ the same time to make it a 1 hour lunch.Ya think that might ruffle some feathers.

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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    Quote Originally Posted by laterite View Post
    To take this one more step,If a person were to punch out let's say @ noon,What would be the ramifications of taking your 2 - paid 15 min. breaks @ the same time to make it a 1 hour lunch.Ya think that might ruffle some feathers.
    We don't have 15 minute breaks, only lunch time.

    All you have to do is ask your supervisor.

    I had a guy who needed to renew his driver's license. Took 2 1/2 lunch and worked 90 minutes past normal closing time. So he worked the required 8 hours and we don't send him home for having an expired license. But then I work for a company that is not hostile towards it's employees. Some of the big name firms mentioned on this board seem to hate, resent, hold in disdain their locators.

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    Senior Member FailedSafetyAudit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    Forced lunches as a public utility locator responsible for emergencies is bullshit. I know that On Target and Premier both pay for the lunch periods to be taken, they don't require you to clock out or even claim you took one. This is because you are not absolved of your on call emergency responsibilities while eating lunch. They want you to respond as quickly as possible if you get a call, no matter what.

    But for all other companies forcing a unpaid half hour lunch, yes it's a technique to reduce the amount of overtime they pay out. that's 2.5 hours of overtime they no longer have to pay. I am surprised they don't bump it up to a full hour of unpaid lunch across the board.

    I fully agree with the other person who mentioned eating while driving to the next job... works everytime and is the best actual usage of time.
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    Senior Member sauroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    I have about 30 to 40 "rest areas" that are either on a job or on the way to a job. I take my full allotted time, because that is my time for lunch. I do no business calls, I rest my brain a bit, and I try to enjoy the weather. Sometimes I will throw a line in a canal just for a quick minute or 2. If something arises that needs my immediate attention, I will clock in and go where I need to or talk to who I need to.

    If you hurt yourself locating through lunch, the company can fight your claim, and probably win. I can't let my family suffer due to being understaffed and over pressured by a company that doesn't care what happens unless you are not making money for them.

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    Senior Member Turk182's Avatar
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    Default Re: Forced lunch half hour

    I left USIC about two months after they started enforcing lunch breaks, I always took mine once that started, my phone woul ring like crazy, but I ignored it because I was on lunch. My supervisor actually used the GPS to come find me to ask why I wasn't answering my phone. I went on to take great lengths to tell him I was on my company enforced lunch break, and that it was a labor law violation to expect me to do any work on said lunch break, to which he replied this wasn't a problem three months ago, to which I replied that I wasn't being forced to take a lunch break three months ago. He shook his head and told me that I had two emergencies to go out on, and I looked at him,and then at my watch, and informed him that I still had fifteen minutes left on my lunch, since he chose to interrupt it to discuss company policies.

    He got so pissed he sent me home and had someone else run the emergency calls.

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