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Need advice regarding work situation
Old 10-11-2020, 03:23 PM
snugglegirl05 snugglegirl05 is offline
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Default Need advice regarding work situation

I need advice regarding a situation at work.

There are several times when I work an 8 hours shift, and there is no-one to either 1) give me a bathroom break or 2) give me time to heat my lunch or dinner up in the microwave inside the store and get back to the fuel center. There is no microwave or bathroom at the fuel center. There is a sign at the fuel center that you display when you have to leave the fuel center. You have up to 15 minutes to take a break.

Last Thursday the manager over the fuel center saw me inside the store in the morning when I went to the bathroom, and she asked me if there was anyone in the fuel center. I told her that I am the only one in the fuel center until 1:45 p.m. when my relief arrives. That manager also makes the fuel center work schedule. Then when I went inside the store to heat up my lunch, and she saw me again. That time she told me, in front of customers and other employees the following “The fuel center cannot be unattended… Come on, this is the second time you have left the fuel center today… I do not need you to leave the fuel center… I will hire someone to work 20 hours a week to cover for breaks.”

The fuel center is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. 7 days a week, so I do not know how there can be break coverage for everyone with someone working 20 hours a week to give breaks.

I have not been told anything about my productivity or any other issues either from her, the store manager, or one of the Assistant store managers.

I work 3 p.m to 10 p.m. tonight, and I am at the point that I want to make a list of all the closing duties I completed in addition to my bathroom break for her to see.

This is how I feel...

I was working 38 to 40 hours, but next week my hours have been cut to 30 hours a week.

My husband wants me to wait a couple of weeks to see if things improve before I begin looking for a better job situation especially considering my hours were cut to 30 hours next week. I submitted a vacation request a couple of months ago for the week of November 8th, and I would like to use that time for job interviews and job hunting.

What do you suggest I do?

How should I handle this situation?
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Old 10-11-2020, 05:26 PM
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telecom_goddess telecom_goddess is offline
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Well I would be saying that bathroom breaks and food are human needs and that they don't have the right to deny either of those things to you. And until such time as they find someone to man the place it will continue to be unmanned while you take care of said human needs.
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Old 10-11-2020, 06:15 PM
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There's also a good chance that there are legal requirements for workers to be allowed breaks. I don't know the laws where you are, but you should be able to Google them.
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:36 PM
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csquared csquared is offline
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Check your state labor laws. If you are working an 8 hour shift, at a minimum, you should be getting a half hour meal break. Also, aren't you working in a union shop? If so, talk with a Steward.
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Old 10-11-2020, 11:43 PM
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EricKei EricKei is offline
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Yup. In the US, there are no (edit: ) *Federal* break requirements for anyone 18 and over (overtime is another matter); this is left up to the states, so yeah, check yours.

I guess the FC manager only sees you during those times? That being said, if they're doing the schedule, they should be aware of the fact that you're working AND that you're allowed to leave it for 15 mins at a time if you have that notice/sign up.

As for job hunting – Ohhh yeah. Polish up that resume if you have not done so yet (I'd be glad to help with that, just delete any personal ID'ing info if you like and send the text in a PM). Send out copies as soon as you can, and just assume it will take longer than planned.
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Old 10-11-2020, 11:46 PM
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Kristev Kristev is offline
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Yes. Check your local laws. Denying bathroom breaks can't be legal or enforceable.
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Old 10-12-2020, 12:39 AM
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Ironclad Alibi Ironclad Alibi is offline
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I suspect that manager would like you having a honey bucket at the fuel center a lot less than he likes you taking restroom breaks.
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Old 10-12-2020, 12:55 AM
TheSHAD0W TheSHAD0W is offline
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If I were you I'd start looking now. Don't wait to see if things improve.

I'd also suggest sending a note over the manager's head, saying that you're being disallowed breaks and that it's impacting your performance and motivation.
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Old 10-12-2020, 03:04 AM
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Dreamstalker Dreamstalker is offline
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Most state DOL sites have ways to file a complaint...but I don't know if those are actually anonymous. You should be able to call up and inquire ("can an employer deny employee bathroom breaks until it is convenient for them?") anonymously though.
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Old 10-12-2020, 02:32 PM
snugglegirl05 snugglegirl05 is offline
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Several things...

I closed last night, and one of the Assistant Managers came to the fuel center to get the money drop, count that money and do the deposit.

So, I asked him if there are any issues with my job performance. He said not that he knows of. He also told me that from what he has observed I go above and beyond. So, I told him about my hours being cut next week. He then told me that he would speak to the fuel center manager.

I asked another Assistant Manager if he has heard anything about the fuel center manager hiring another employee to give breaks. He said no. So I told him about the fact that the fuel center manager does not want the fuel center unmanned at any given time. He then said that was true. So I asked him what we are supposed to do about bathroom breaks. He hemmed and hawed and said to use the sign at the fuel center that states the fuel center center clerk is currently away from the fuel center & will return in 15 minutes.

I also spoke to the fuel center lead about all of this, and he told me that I was the first employee to tell him this.

I also spoke to an Assistant Lead trainee who works in the same department that the fuel center manager works. The fuel center manager is also over another department, and the Assistant Lead trainee works in that department. She told me that is not aware of the fuel center manager hiring another employee for the fuel center to give breaks. I also asked her what we are supposed to do about bathroom breaks. She said that we cannot work an 8 hour shift without having a bathroom break, & to just put the break sign up.

One of the fuel center employees told me that she was offered a job in another department at the grocery store chain we both work for. She is supposed to have meeting with that department head and the store manager this week.
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