I work as a manger at chipotle and am fed up with not recovering meals breaks even when I clock in earlier than other “crew members”. The crew members get breaks before me and sometimes clock out before I even have a chance to take a break.
This is a clear violation of the law. However, you need to be very careful how you handle this because you could be subjected to discrimination if you complain. You need to have proof of EVERYTHING (this means the lack of breaks, and your complaints about this issue).
I also recommend that you speak with an attorney. Most of the attorneys on this message board will take phone calls free of charge.
You indicate yo work as a "manager" at Chipotle. Not know how that company works, but it may be quite likely that as a manager, you are an "exempt" employee. I would expect that as a manager, you supervise, are involved in hiring and firing and typically help run the store, etc. If you are an "exempt" employee, they do not have to provide breaks, including lunch breaks in accordance with typical employment rules. They typically do not have to provide overtime. I would recommend that you do some research for yourself and set up an appointment with an AVVO qualified attorney to discuss this matter. Most will provide for an initial consultation without charge. You need to clarify your status.
You are entitled to meal and rest periods only if you are a non-exempt hourly employee. Your post says you are clocking in and out which suggests you are not a salaried employee and as such are likely non-exempt. If you are not an exempt employee, then your employer has an obligation to provide you with a reasonable opportunity to take a ten-minute, on-the-clock, uninterrupted, duty-free rest period for every four hours (or major portion thereof) that you work. As a non-exempt employee you also must be given a reasonable opportunity to take a thirty-minute, off-the-clock, uninterrupted and duty-free meal period on any workday when you work more than 5 hours and before the sixth hour of work.
If you are non-exempt and you are not given the reasonable opportunity to take the rest periods described above, you are entitled to a penalty wage in the amount of one hour of pay at your regular rate for every day you were denied at least on such rest period. You are entitled to another hour of pay for every day you were denied the meal period as described.
You have options at this point for dealing with this situation.
One is to complain to management. That may or may not fall on deaf ears, and it may result in retaliation although such retaliation would be unlawful.
Another is to hire an attorney to complain for you and demand changes and the wage penalties you are owed to this point. That too might result in retaliation.
A third option is to file an administrative wage claim with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement who will at no charge assist you in enforcing your rights and in seeking your wage penalties.
A fourth option is to file a lawsuit, seeking your wage penalties, or perhaps even seeking penalties and/damages for all employees suffering the same wrongdoing.
Each of these approaches have pros and cons. Therefore it would be prudent for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law work offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.
Good luck to you.
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