Publix Super Markets / management forcing employees to work past scheduled shifts
Having been with the company for years (8) now, I've seen a lot. My position is irrelevant to the matter at hand, but what I've seen lately, the last 6-8 months, seems to be a growing trend, more so with these younger, untrained managers. Because it has now happened to a dear friend, I feel compelled to call Publix out on this.
If an employee is scheduled for a particular shift, that is what the employee is obligated to work. Some of these area managers are not allowing, that's right, not allowing, their employees to leave, even after their shifts are complete, some who work overnight, work 12 plus, but are being forced to stay additional 4-5 hours! My friend is a single dad and has missed picking up his daughter because his area manager kept him when he should have been getting her. He had no actual days off because the additional forced hours encroached onto days he was scheduled off. If he gets a full 12 hours off, it's a good week. Some of his buddies without kids have it even worse! I understand OSHA has guidelines to keep employees mentally, physically, emotionally sound. Why isn't Publix complying?
Updated by MaggMc, Mar 28, 2017
According to the Department of Labor, a normal work shift is considered to be a work period of no more than eight consecutive hours during the day, five days a week. Any shift that requires work during the evening is considered extended or unusual by labor department standards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not specifically regulate night shifts but OSHA does require employers to comply with hazard-specific safety and health standards. The administration also makes recommendations to employers about how to address the potential hazards of night shifts.
Breaks and Meal Periods
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends that night shift workers take regular and frequent breaks throughout their shift to reduce the possibility of fatigue. According to OSHA, rest periods should consist of formal breaks such as lunch or dinner. Additionally, night shift workers should be allowed small breaks during the course of the evening to change positions, stretch and shift concentration. Further, employers should provide additional breaks for schedules that extend beyond eight hours.
Night shifts may disrupt the body's regular sleep schedule and could lead to fatigue as well as mental and physical stress. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicates that such hazards could potentially lead to operator error and occupational injuries. The administration recommends that employers "diligently monitor" night shift workers and learn to recognize signs and symptoms of shift-related health effects such as weariness, irritability, lack of concentration, depression and headache. An employer should evaluate employees who present such symptoms and possibly allow the employee to leave the area to seek rest.
Adequate Staffing and Scheduling
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration encourages employers to provide adequate staffing so night shift workers can take breaks and relax during their shift. The health administration also recommends employers establish a quiet and secluded area for workers to rest. If a worker is new to a night shift, it can take up to 10 days to adapt to the new schedule. Employers who have an adequate amount of employees during evening shifts ensure workers new to the schedule receive additional rest periods if needed.
The health administration mandates that employers must ensure workers do not have prolonged exposure to workplace hazards. According to OSHA, tasks that require heavy physical labor or intense concentration should be performed at the beginning of the shift, especially if night shift workers must operate potentially dangerous or hazardous equipment.
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