AT&T Sued over Draconian Lunch Break Rules
Thursday, August 16, 2012
(photo: Eddie-S, Flickr)
A group of eleven technicians have sued AT&T over its lunch-break policy that makes eating difficult and forbids many kinds of personal activities other workers take for granted.
In a class action lawsuit filed in Southern Indiana, the technicians claim they often skip lunch because of the rules imposed by AT&T.
The rules include no reading, no music and no using heat or air-conditioning in company vehicles. If technicians are working underground on cables, they cannot leave the site for lunch and instead must guard their manhole opening.
Also, AT&T mandates that technicians traveling from one job to another cannot deviate more than a half-mile from a company prescribed GPS-monitored route to purchase lunch—even if there are no eating establishments along the route. If they travel outside the required route, they can be subject to discipline.
If they bring packed lunches, they may eat them in company vehicles, but after finishing eating, they may not remain in the vehicles reading, napping or going online because to do so would allegedly damage the company’s public image.
To Learn More:
The Worst Lunch Breaks in the World? (by Jack Bouboushian, Courthouse News Service)
Indiana AT&T Technicians File Class Action Lawsuit Citing Grim Break Conditions (by Meredith Bennett-Smith, Huffington Post)
Deborah Sturgeon et al. v. AT&T (U.S. District Court, Southern Indiana) (pdf)
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