Meal Breaks, a priveledge?!

  1. After two nurses were jumped on for taking a smoke break during patient's meal time, the CCO of our hospital came out with a nasty memo basically reminding people of break times, and ending it by stating that break and meal times were a "priviledge". Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the law stated that after 6 hours, you had to be given a half hour meal break. This is Indiana though so I know laws may vary from state to state. Is what I'm thinking true.? Thanks in advance.

  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   llg
    You'd have to ask a lawyer to read the memo and give an opinion as to whether or not it violated the state law. Did you keep a copy of the memo to show an attorney?
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Minimum Length of Meal Period Required Under State Law For Adult Employees in Private Sector1/
    January 1, 2007

    I looked at the site of the Indiana Board of labor and found no "hours of Work" or "Meals and Breaks" provisions.

    IF I read it right Hoosiers need to do something.
    How about someone starting with a letter to the editor?
  5. by   TheCommuter
    At my facility, the staff is not permitted to take breaks while the patients are eating due to safety reasons. For example, the staff would need to respond promptly if a patient were to choke or aspirate during their meal times.

    However, meal breaks are an employee right (not a privilege) in most states. According to the previous poster, the state of Indiana might be an exception.
  6. by   Tweety
    Breaks are a priviledge because we are paid during them. Meals are unpaid and we have a right to them, but I'm not sure of the laws. I've missed only a handful of meals in a 15 years, but rarely get a break and consider it a priviledge when I do.
  7. by   kwagner_51
    According the Dept of Labor, breaks are NOT required and only 8 States make it a requirement.

    See this link for more info:

    Also not all States require a meal break;


    Hope this helps!!