Are Pharmacists exempt from breaks?

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Latest post 01-11-2006 12:20 PM by DCGirl. 1 replies.
  • 01-10-2006 9:01 PM

    • jgls
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    • Joined on 01-10-2006
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    Question [=?] Are Pharmacists exempt from breaks?

    My fiance is a pharmacist in Washington and has been working for his company for over 6 years. He works 50-60 hours per week all over greater Seattle. What I don't understand is that he does not get any breaks from his 10-12 hour shifts. The company procedure is that a pharmacist must be present during all business hours but he can not close the pharmacy for lunch, restroom break or any other reason. Nor will they bring in another pharmacist to cover his breaks. His supervisor advised him to "just go to the back and have a break" but he must recieve all phone calls and attend to customers that approach. He is paid for overtime but they do not pay him additional for breaks not granted. Is it civil that he's on his feet 10-12 hours, not allowed to leave which sometimes mean no food or a visit to the restroom, slouched over a low counter (not suited for a pharmacist over 6' tall) and bear in mind he's dealing with the publics' health. Does he have a case for back pay and punitive damage?

    Frustrated fiance
  • 01-11-2006 12:20 PM In reply to

    • DCGirl
      Consumer
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-31-2002
    • Posts 966

    Feedback [*=*] re: Are Pharmacists exempt from breaks?

    Your fiance would need to contact the Washington Department of Labor and Industries. WA law does require meal and rest periods, but it also states that scheduled rest periods are not required when the work flow allows the employee to take intermittent rest periods. I suspect that that's the clause they're invoking when they tell him to go in the back when it's slow.

    There's no law that states that he can't be required to work long shifts or that they have to provide a counter suitable to his height (unless that might be a reasonable accommodation of a medical issue).
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