My state job is pretty blatantly ignoring the state laws regarding rest periods. I have low blood sugar and am finding the conditions difficult to manage.
I recently took a job as a courtroom clerk with the state of Oregon. I work 8-5 with an unpaid 1 hour lunch period from 12-1 PM. From 8:15 AM - noon and 1:15 PM - 5:00 PM, I am in the courtroom assisting with hearings. According to Oregon law
, non-exempt employees are entitled to a paid rest period of at least ten minutes for every 4 hours worked. (I am a non-exempt employee.)
I work with rotating judges (the judge changes each week,) but the same managing clerk. (She is the one who controls the courtroom proceedings/who is heard when, etc.) The managing clerk is my direct supervisor, but she will not ask for the court to recess unless the judge specifically calls for it. In about a month on the job, I've had two breaks-- both of which were requested by the judge.
This situation has proven to be very tough on my body-- I have low blood sugar, and generally need to eat every 2 hours or so. By 4:30, I'm lightheaded, a little shaky, and very grumpy. We are not allowed to have food in the courtroom. I've thought about sneaking a protein shake in in a water bottle or something, but then I start to feel silly and like there must be a better solution.
I think part of the problem is that there are so many hearings scheduled each day that if we took a 10-15 minute recess twice a day, we would almost certainly be in court past 5:00, requiring that the agency pay us overtime. I can see why they would want to avoid this, and get everyone through quickly, but I'm getting frustrated.
Although I'd prefer to address this directly with my supervisor, it seems like a losing battle. She's not an easy person to talk to in general, and she's been running this courtroom a certain way for 7 years, which makes me think she's unlikely to change. Should I go to HR? Talk to my boss's boss? Sneak Skittles in in my sweater sleeves?