Give me a break

Nov 01, 2006

Q: Is our doctor legally required to provide us with a break room?

Sarah Babcock
"There's no federal law that requires your boss to provide a break room," says Sarah Babcock, DVM, JD, an attorney with Animal and Veterinary Legal Services in Harrison Twp, Mich. "So unless your state law requires it, your employer isn't required to offer one."

However, you may be able to offer some compelling reasons for your veterinarian to provide you with a separate space for breaks. For example, she says, if you're a nonexempt employee and you're not paid for lunch time, it's easier for you to follow the law and take a break if your boss provides a break room. And OSHA regulations limit what you can store in a refrigerator that contains medications, so it may be better for the doctor to offer a separate space in a break room for employees to store their lunches.