At Wolpert Insurance, we know you value your hard working livery employees, which is why they deserve meal breaks. They are on the road for long hours and even during nights. Allowing them to rest and to have a meal is a good way to not only help them reenergize, but prevent claims to your company. It is Massachusetts state law to provide your drivers with meal breaks. If you don’t have a system in place to do so, you could be handed a lawsuit, especially if an accident were to occur due to a lack of break time.
According to the Labor Laws in Massachusetts, you must provide workers with meal breaks. This law states that employees must receive a 30-minute break after six hours of working. In addition, a driver can leave the workplace during the break if desired. If an employee voluntarily gives up the meal break, he/she must be paid for all hours that were worked. Finally, employees are allowed to pray during their meal break because this period is considered the employee’s free time.
As a livery owner, it is important to understand that different circumstances can arise surrounding the meaning of meal breaks. For example, if a driver still has some responsibilities to tend to during a meal break, such as being required to stay with the vehicle, then this should be compensated as paid working time. If this example were to happen to your company, make sure you are able to prove that each driver was paid appropriately during breaks, whether working through them or not. In addition, you should communicate to your drivers that they are expected to take a meal break when it is legally required. Ensuring there is sufficient down-time for all employees can aid in a more productive workforce.
Creating a culture where open communication is encouraged and can help drivers feel more comfortable to speak up. This is especially true if they have issues with procedures. Getting to know you livery team can also increase trust between drivers, managers, and supervisors. All of these examples can go a long way in avoiding claims.
At Wolpert Insurance, we hope you never have to face a lawsuit due to failure in giving appropriate meal breaks or for any other circumstance. Paying attention to the needs of your livery employees and being protected with our livery insurance can help you avoid accident, injuries, and unhappy customers. Take the time to be prepared for the unexpected by putting your drivers’ well being first.