No break!?! Is it legal?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by LiveNLearn, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    Jan 12, 2009

    Our P has just determined that we must have duty all of morning recess. Before we split the area with another teacher. Now we can't go to the bathroom for over 4 hours! Is this legal?! :mad:
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The break thing came up with us as well. It was determined it was legal not to have a break. I wasn't sure how that was determined though.

    As far as the bathroom goes, maybe you can't have scheduled bathroom breaks but if it hits, it hits and you gotta go when you gotta go. They can't stop that. You can hold long enough to get some help.
     
  4. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    I imagined this scenario- If I have to go (I am a girl and all, I have needs) I would bring all my kids to the office and park them outside the P's office, while I used the nurse's bathroom that he takes for granted.
    :lol:
     
  5. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    That is a good one!

    I think you should check with EEOC or your union to find out.
     
  6. bballlady

    bballlady Rookie

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    I don't quite understand your first two sentences. But as to your question, I would read your contract. It must state in it how long you can teach before getting a break. If your contract does not state this I would be adamant that it states it during your next negotiations. We cannot work more than 3 1/2 hours without a break. It wrecks havoc when there is school for half a day or we dismiss early due to weather conditions. But our contract states it and we hold our principal to it. Otherwise it would be at labor/management in an instant.
     
  7. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    Before today, two people would split an "area" like blacktop half and half. The second person would relieve the first person in the middle of recess, so that the first person could use the bathroom. Recess is only 15 minutes so you would get a 7 minute break (if the person was on time).
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Why does it seem like California teachers get the short end when it comes to breaks, preps, specials etc? I didn't even know what specials were until I joined this forum.

    BTW, at my school, on rainy days we'd go 3 hours without a break. But the campus aids come by and cover our classes if need be.

    I don't think you need a "break" per se, but I do believe that OSHA has a few things to say about restroom access.
     
  9. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Jan 12, 2009

    Read your contract.
    Ours only states that we must have x amt. for lunch and x amt for prep each day. There is no say as to when we are given this time.
    We are lukcy enough to have TA's and others who will cover should we need to run to the ladies room!!
     
  10. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    I read the contract (all 48 pages) and it talks about the length of the day and a 30 min duty free lunch, but not about breaks for bathroom.

    Funny, Sarge. I didn't know about specials either until I read the Prep Time thread last week and I started to feel very underappreciated and overworked... and then this. It is no wonder so many teachers drop out in the first five years- they need to pee!
     
  11. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Jan 12, 2009

    :toofunny:
     
  12. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jan 12, 2009

    LOL I agree, except for me it is contracts for teachers. I always taught in a parish where your letter of intent was used as your contract, there was never a seperate document that stated anything that you were supposed to have. (small town school)
    We have one recess at my school, right after lunch, and all 3 of us are on duty. I have kids from 7:40 am until specials at 2:05. If I need a bathroom break, or to call parent, etc I can usually snag someone to watch my kids, but other than that, it's about 6 1/2 hours without a break.
    You do what you have to do (and limit what you drink in between!:p)
     
  13. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Jan 13, 2009

    Christy I can't believe that you are not given a contract which would list your duties. Letters of intent are just that letters of intent.
     
  14. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I work in a non-union district. We do not have formal contracts that spell out our duties and responsibilities. In April, we get a letter saying what our pay will be the next year (lane & step). That's it. Our duties are spelled out in our teacher handbook, but not in a contract.
     
  15. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    That's how it is here, Mrs. R. Honestly, I just never thought it was odd. I thought all schools were like that. In my new district I do have a "contract", but it's a one page sheet that basically says I agree to work for the entire school year and they agree to pay me. Short and sweet! :)
     
  16. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I think the bottom line is that as far as "legality" is concerned, OSHA says they have to give you reasonable access to restroom facilities but that there is no law mandating any sort of break for any given time period.

    Reasonable access to restroom facilities means that if you call the office and say you really need to use the restroom, there's a warm body available to watch your kids while you go. Of course, none of us actually use that option since it's a PITA for all concerned. But any school would cover their backsides by saying that's what you could do if needed.
     
  17. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    We can buzz the intercom and have someone listen to our class while we"re out.

    I used to be dehydrated all the time until I got a kidney stone in which dehydration is the number one cause.

    Teachers everywhere, RISE, DRINK, go pee!!!
     
  18. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Jan 13, 2009

    YES YOU DO! State would be all over your school IF they find out that you are not taking breaks! There is supposed to be one 10 minute break (USE TO BE 15 minutes!), in the morning and one 10 minute break in the afternoon. That was the LAW in CA before I moved out, abt a year ago.You better let them know about that. The Labor Board, also, does not play around when it comes to watching out for the laborers:D. Now! The school I'm at now DOES NOT GIVE US ANY BREAKS! :whistle:I just get on the intercom and page the "up people", (My new slang for Directors & Asst Directors), "I NEED TO GO POTTY!", and they will find someone to come cover for me and the 18 children, or less, that I can't drag up to the office. I've done it before AND they didn't like it, SO they know better.:D Meanwhile, I need to look into what this state says about BREAKS!
    Take GREAT care of the future of America , but PLEASE take care of yourself first. They say that teachers have the worst bladder problems because they hold, and hold when they're supposed to go do #1.:(
    Rebel1
     
  19. Teacher_Lyn

    Teacher_Lyn Companion

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    Jan 13, 2009

    It really varies dependent upon the state, but the way I understand it works for most of the states here on the East Coast, as long as you have a planning period before and after school hours, you are not required to have a break during the day by law.

    It really stinks. At my old school, I had to go about 3 hours with no break BUT on the bright side, I had a bathroom in the class, so sometimes I would just stop teaching and use it in the middle of class.

    The kids were trained not to make noise or mess around.
     
  20. kidsandpups

    kidsandpups Companion

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    We had a workshop on legal issues during a staff development day and they said that it was legal for us to leave the room/kids to use the restroom. Not all the time of course, but in necessity. They also said that teachers were one of the two most common people to get urinary tract infections (along with surgeons.)
     
  21. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    Labor Laws vary by state. I used to manage a retail store in NY and by the labor law employees were not entitled to a 15 minute break unless they were working a shift longer than 4 hours.

    So I would check with your states labor laws
     
  22. penguinpc

    penguinpc Comrade

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    You could also call the Federal Labor Board for information.
     
  23. Arky

    Arky Comrade

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    Jan 15, 2009

    I have often wondered why we do not get a break like factories do or other work places. The longest I go during the day is 3 hours without a break but I can tell you many times I have to go. We tell the teacher across the hall and she is supposed to watch both classes by going back and forth.
     
  24. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I like the idea of taking all the kids to the office with you when you have to use the bathroom.

    There is no way on earth I could go 3 hours let alone 4 without a break! Anyone taking meds for hypertension, or with a bladder infection, has to go about every hour! What are you supposed to do, go tell your P. every time you have a bladder infection????
     
  25. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    Jan 16, 2009

    Or when it is "that time".
    Enough said.
    I complained to the VP who does the yard duty schedule, and he put me on before school duty, so alas I get to pee!!! (at least for the next four weeks until a new schedule is made)
     
  26. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Jan 16, 2009

    Here is the rest period information from the state of California
    www.dir.ca.gov/dis/FAQ restperiods.html It basically says you are to get 10 minutes for every 4 hours of work. Call the union! The principal by saying you can not take turns and thus enable you to have ten minute breaks is breaking California state labor laws!

    Most schools skate that labor law in California becuase of recess duty; but I have never heard of a principal nutty enough to say you can't trade off so everyone can use the bathroom. If you get kidney stones sue the district and the school! oh by the way call the union! If you are charter or private call whoever our states labor greivance place is!
     
  27. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    You should love this, according to the information on that page any employee denied the rest time on a day is entitled to an extra hour of pay for each day denied the right for the ten minutes every four hours worked. I didn't read the details; but, hmmm....:woot:
     
  28. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Yep! I love the CA laws! They watch out BIG time for workers. I mentioned the Labor Board on my earlier post BECAUSE they helped me get some money back from this certain PRESCHOOL that I did overtime for AND they refused to pay me. I had all my TIME WORKED written on my little log; due to the numerous times I took the books home to balance and mail off or bring it back for the Director to okay, etc. The Labor Board took my log as evidence AND they had to pay me all the overtime they owed me PLUS a $1,000 extra, for not paying me on time. It was stupid, but I turned the $1,000 down. I just wanted what was owed me & to make my point. The Director they had at that time met with me at the Labor Board hearing and she was, "Well! She knew from our note on the paper, in the lounge that she was not supposed to take work home." I returned her comment, "Hello! I showed you the books everytime when they were not done, and you expected me to take them home to do them!" The Labor Board did the verdict right there. He didn't have to take a break to return with it, like on tv. Anyway, the CA Labor board does not play around, when they know you have been wronged, as a LABORER! :D
    Later,
    Rebel1
     

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