Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Workers of California, rejoice!

Your government has saved you from those mean employers who wouldn't let you take lunch or smoke breaks. The Man can no longer keep you down. The following urgent memo popped up in our time recording system recently:

Effective immediately, all salaried non-exempt and hourly employees in California should be confirming (certifying) that they have taken or waived (if applicable) their meal and rest breaks prior to entering their attendance hours ...

I love the "waived (if applicable)" language -- to save you from The Man, your California government can force you to be at work 9 or 10 hours, so that you get all your breaks in, even if you wanted to work through lunch, take no breaks, and bail 8 hours after you arrive.

The free market, which apparently has just closed up shop in CA, has an elegant solution for this. If you don't like your employer's break policies, find another job; if you don't want to find another job, then you must by definition like your employer's break policy. Either way, there is no role for government here.

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