Despite a clear case of a racially hostile work environment, plaintiff’s claim was dismissed on summary judgment where he failed to utilize the remedies contained in an employee handbook to address the situation.
Work Breaks Of Short Duration Count Towards Overtime.
Plaintiffs were logged out of the employer’s time-keeping system when taking short breaks. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to compensate employees for all "hours worked." 29 C.F.R. § 785.18 (1961) provides that rest periods of 5 to about 20 minutes constitute "hours worked." See also Chapter 31a01(a) of the Department of Labor’s ("DOL") Field Operations Handbook; DOL Wage and Hour Division Opinion Letter (Dec. 2, 1996), 1996 WL 1005233. But see Chapter 31a01(c) of the DOL Field Operations Handbook (Dec. 15, 2000)(three prong test for determining when unauthorized extensions of approved breaks are not counted as hours worked). Interpreting these various provisions, the Court held that all rest periods of short duration must be compensated except for breast milk expression breaks (29 U.S.C. § 207(r)) and in the narrow circumstances specified in Chapter 31a01(c) of the Field Operations Handbook.