Bill Would Allow TN Workers To Skip Lunch

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(Nashville, TN) A proposed law could change the way you take lunch breaks.

Tennessee State Senator Brian Kelsey wants you to be able to choose whether you take an unpaid lunch or keep working.

If you work more than six hours at your job, you must take a take a lunch break, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor.

That lunch break must be at least 30 minutes and your employer doesn’t have to pay you for it.

State Senator Brian Kelsey wants to change that law.

He’s proposing a bill in the state senate letting workers waive their right to a 30-minute break.

Some workers like Clarence Taylor say it’s a great idea.

“You should be able to take that 30 minutes and go home early,” Talyor said. “They should have that choice.”

It’s a choice that Janice Chalmers with the AFSCME union worries could create problems in the work place.

“If you are having a lot of people who are wanting to leave at the end of the day because they decide they don’t want to take their lunch break and then those that stay behind that workload would be on those individuals. That could create a problem,” Chalmers said.

She worries in some cases it could be a safety issue if workers don’t rest during long shift. and said it’s good for employees to get a break.

“My lunch break is important because it’s my time I wind down,” she said.

On Facebook you sounded off with differing opinions.

Stephen Rogers wrote, “I don’t want to be forced to take a break considering I am on commission. But right now I have to because of that law! so please pass it!

While Allan Bayassee said, “the next thing you know, you won’t have a lunch break available, STOP It!”

Senator Kelsey did not return our calls for comment on his intent with the legislation.


  • Charles

    I can see companies giving favorable job assignments and treatment to the employees that choose not to take lunch. I can also see employers finding little ways to punish the folks that choose to take lunch.

  • Thomas H. Evans

    Unless something has changed in the law, this was a federal law that a person be given a 30 minute break if working six hours or more. And by the way, who is working now and don’t know what the rules are regarding breaks; that’s generally the first thing an employee wants to know two minutes after they are hired. I really don’t see such a stupid proposal passing, but we are talking about the TN Republicans.

  • Gilly

    Unbelievable… Really can he not find something that matters?? If they didn’t take their lunch they would be crying that its not fair…This is just stupid…

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