Answering Phones, Dispatchers and Receptionists

Receptionists, dispatchers and others are sometimes not paid for all time worked. Besides occasionally performing work off-the-clock (e.g. answering phones outside of work hours for which they are paid, receptionists are sometimes expected to remain available to monitor the phones for calls during meal and rest breaks. California law generally provides (subject to limited exceptions) that employers provide their employees the opportunity to take one legally compliant 10-minute off-duty rest break for every four hours of work, and one 30-minute off-premises and off-duty meal break. Affected employees may be owed one hour of pay under Labor Code sections 226.7 and 512, and the applicable Wage Orders, for each day a legally compliant meal or rest break is not provided.

Employers sometimes prefer that dispatchers and receptionists monitor the phones during their breaks because it is sometimes hard to replace them for breaks, and because it is easier and cheaper for the employer to tell them to keep on monitoring phones during breaks and to restart their breaks if interrupted. However, that practice can result in significant monetary awards to affected employees. Milhaupt and Cohen has recovered significant amounts for many such employees.

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Milhaupt & Cohen
816 Camarillo Springs Rd., STE F
Camarillo, CA 93012
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Fax: 805-482-0116
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