Can management force a courier to take a break?

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by Operational needs, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. Operational needs

    Operational needs Non desistas. Non exieras.

    Does anyone know whether FedEx has changed the policy on breaks? A courier friend of mine had a vehicle breakdown and his manager told him he HAD to take a break while waiting for the tow truck. I know it has always fallen under the 24/25 codes. Senior manager told courier that a manager can make a courier take a break at any time as long as it's not in the first or last hour. I call BS, but don't know for sure.. Anyone know for sure?
  2. Route 66

    Route 66 Bent Member

    nothing surprises me around this cesspool anymore. I don't know if policy has changed but I DO know if my manager ever told me to wait around for a tow truck on my own time I'd be telling him to kiss it.
  3. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    24/25. Waiting for a tow truck is not a "break". BS, for sure.
  4. 5yearsleft

    5yearsleft Member

    New DOT regulations as of July 1st state that you must take at least a half hour break BEFORE you hit 8 hours. This is from the time of punch in. It has to do with driver fatigue. The break should not be taken in the first hour or the last hour of your shift. Our managers went over this last week with us. I'm not sure about the vehicle out of service situation though.
  5. shelskye

    shelskye New Member

    You cannot be forced to take a break while waiting for a tow truck... although it will be strongly "suggested"... If you are in a safe place where the vehicle can be secured, you can choose to take a break. (I wouldn't keep the tow truck driver waiting until your break is over though... they will leave.) Be ready to stand up for yourself to your manager as this does not go over well at all and they certainly will try to intimidate you!
  6. pougiezoey

    pougiezoey New Member

    I was told you need to take a 30 min break after 6 hours of work.
  7. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    No, your manager cannot 'force' you to take a break if you are not in a situation where you can leave your vehicle unattended and attend to 'personal needs'. This includes having someplace to go to be able to eat a meal, attend to calls of nature, be in a place that has some protection from the elements (sitting in your truck DOESN'T count) and not be in immediate contact with your dispatcher. This is why your powerpad 'blanks out' when you enter a break.

    Here yet again is where it is necessary for wage employees to keep a journal and make copies of relevant company documents to protect themselves. In this case, you need to make a copy of your end of day printed out time card - wait for it to print, then take it to a building copier and make yourself a copy. If there isn't a copier available, take a high resolution digital photo of the time card that generates RIGHT AFTER you download your p-pad. You can also do a print out of your time codes (using your printer) and then KEEP THOSE and include that with your 'journal'. Once you hit 'print timecard', go to the print option in your p-pad and print out your time codes. KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF. It will serve as back up when your creative manager starts manipulating your time codes - you will have means to demonstrate to HR that your manager engaged in falsification and then the fun will really begin for your manager.

    It is also why employees need to know how to properly enter their time codes without errors occurring. Most don't seem to care about entering time codes, they leave it to their manager or gatekeeper to clean up the mess on their computer generated time card - BIG MISTAKE. You need to 'take control' of your time codes, so that you cannot be screwed out of working time, or even 6th day OT (as I have illustrated occurred in one location).

    You need to learn what time codes to enter, how to enter them and do so correctly and without error. This isn't for Express' benefit, it is to protect YOU against a manager manipulating your time codes to either cheat you out of pay - or to enable a doctored up report to be run. You need to LEARN this aspect of your job like it it the MOST IMPORTANT part of your job - which IT IS.

    You cannot prevent your manager, a CSA or a gatekeeper from getting into FAMIS to change your time codes. What you can do is to have a record of what you entered, then if any alteration is made which cheats you out of pay (usually a manager entering a break you never took), you have the documentation to back you up. Express is VERY sensitive to time card adjustments made by management which can get them into hot water, so they will take action against the manager in question if they start entering breaks which were never actually taken.

    Again, you need to be proactive to what a manager can do to cheat you - and take that option away from them. One thing you need to watch out for is having a signifiant period of time without any scans. If you are on a on-road time code and have a period of 30 minutes or more without any scans, you are ripe for having a break entered that you never took. Try to make sure you play the Express game well - make sure you have a scan at least every 15 minutes if not every 10 minutes (make that gap report work for you too...). Some managers will look at your scan times, see a block of time where there aren't any scans and enter a break in that time period. You may be 'shuttling' between areas, or just don't have anything to do while waiting for ready times - DON'T place yourself into this situation. If you know you are going to have some down time - space out your pickups so that you have no more than 15 minutes between scans, and preferably no more than 10 minutes.
  8. FedExRookie

    FedExRookie Member

    Yes, after 6 hours is partially correct.

    You need a 30 minute break to work past 6 hours
  9. overflowed

    overflowed Well-Known Member

  10. Mr. 7

    Mr. 7 The monkey on the left.

    When I was new and my truck broke down disp. told me to go into a lunch while waiting for the tow. I did just to get my lunch over with.
    Last time my truck broke down, I waited almost 2 hrs. for the tow. I was on the clock the whole time. I forget what code I was in but, I had already taken my hr. lunch for the day and wasn't gonna be taking any more lunch.
  11. DontThrowPackages

    DontThrowPackages Well-Known Member

    If he took the break and signed his time card, he might be screwed. But He should go to HR and tell them what the manager made him do. Waiting for a tow is in no way a lunch. At least if the courier opens his mouth to HR, they will know not to take a second chance on cheating him the next time. Too risky. Couriers that keep their mouths shut/don't question are the kind they like.
  12. SmithBarney

    SmithBarney Well-Known Member

    Company policy dictates if you work under 6 hours, no break required
    from 6-8 hours 30 minute required
    over 8, 60 minute required.

    Yes there are certain state laws as well

    Breaks should not occur during first or last hour, althouh management looks the otherway when frieght is late
    (keep in mind it's not mandatory to break, if freight is late, but you better see your manager for a job assignment to keep you busy)

    Under NO Circumstance should you ever drive on break! if you get in an accident, you'll probably lose your job and potentially be held accountable
    for the DOT violation which includes FINES.

    Break as defined by DOT:
    "By understanding the definition of on-duty time, you will get a
    good idea of what is considered off-duty time. In order for time
    to be considered off-duty, you must be relieved of all duty and
    responsibility for performing work. You must be free to pursue
    activities of your own choosing and be able to leave the place
    where your vehicle is parked.
    If you are not doing any work (paid or unpaid) for a motor carrier,
    and you are not doing any paid work for anyone else, you may
    record the time as off-duty time."

    If you are "watching" the truck or waiting for a tow, you are working for the company.
  13. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    A vehicle breakdown is all "on duty" time.
  14. DontThrowPackages

    DontThrowPackages Well-Known Member

    Are you saying we are not allowed to be on break and drive to Mc Donalds or to a park? I don't think a day has gone by in which I've never driven on break to get a bit to eat or find a place to nap. They NEVER told us this information.
  15. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Don't start your break until you get to McDonald's or wherever you are going to eat. We used to have 5 minutes to locate somewhere to stop, and THEN go on break. That's probably been reduced to 5 seconds.
  16. SmithBarney

    SmithBarney Well-Known Member

    Correct, you are not supposed to be on break, and moving the companies vehicle.

    I'd actually never been given a "exact" time, I cover quite a few areas, sometimes going from town A to town B can take 20 minutes, If I want to break in town B(since town A is a ghost town) my manager knows he'll see a "GAP"
  17. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I've heard various times too. When I was an RTD, it was fairly liberal because there aren't too many places where you can park a 53' trailer. As a courier, I've been told 5 minutes several times. For an extended area, it should be longer.
  18. DontThrowPackages

    DontThrowPackages Well-Known Member

    I'll address this news to my manager. We have two couriers(one is own rte) who go home for lunch and I know for a fact they drive the truck home while on break. Can't believe they never told us this. But then again, they do want us to go on lunch as soon as we get the last POD. I.E. if a courier is in a tall building, he must go on lunch then take the elevator to the lobby, get to his truck and drive to get a bite. He's just spend 4-7 minutes of his lunch working.
  19. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    There are Express internal guidelines (they are printed, you have access to them), that actually contradict some of what has been discussed here.

    Going off of those guidelines, you (Courier) are supposed to start your break after your last scan, then come off of break prior to your next scan. The memo gives (if memory serves correctly) a time period of about 1 minute for each. So.... Do your last scan, decide you're going on break, enter the break in p-pad, then drive to your break location. You MUST stay in your service area, you cannot exceed 5 miles from the location of your last scan (exceptions are made...), and time spent driving from the end of your last delivery till you get back 'on trace' is all break time....

    Now... I didn't do this. If I was still in, I wouldn't do it either - even if Fred himself begged with sprinkles on top....

    This memo should be available to you - it is MEANT for wage employees to see - since the intent is to get the employee OFF THE CLOCK while they drive to and back from their break location. It is meant to save Express money and get maximum productivity out of you, while appearing to meet DOT requirements (they can show a 30 or 60 minute break).

    Now, I always made it my rule of thumb that when I was in the driver's seat of the truck - I was getting paid. I only hit the break code once I arrived at my break location, the vehicle was shut down and was completely secure (cargo door closed, cab doors locked with windows locked). THEN, the break got coded. I'd send a message a few minutes prior to dispatch notifying them of my intention to take a break - so they had the opportunity to send a message telling me NOT TO, in case they had something needing doing.

    I knew of a LOT of long time Couriers that wouldn't actually code in a break when they took it - they had a CSA make a 'time card correction' when they got back to the station (Oh, put in 60 minutes between this time and that). They all stated that they did this, so they could send and receive messages on the p-pad (so they didn't get hit with a PU with a one hour window when they are on break). Many of them would actually do pickups that were on the 'edges' of their route area (then scan them in with a 5-7 minute interval), just so they could boost their SPH numbers and not be out of contact with dispatch when they did spend 30 minutes (of a 60 minute 'break'), sitting on their butt somewhere doing something.


    When you are on break, you don't give a DAMN about what dispatch may send you - there is a reason the p-pad blanks out and why you shouldn't let dispatch have your cell number. When you are on break - Express doesn't exist. By your notifying dispatch you are about to go on break, you are giving them a proverbial 'heads up' that you are going to be out of contact for awhile - and if anything comes up, THEY have to deal with it WITHOUT you.

    If a PU comes in a minute after you go on break (your p-pad is blanked out) with a one hour window, guess what - it will burn. NOT YOUR FAULT. It is your dispatcher's responsibility to either get the customer to agree to expand the window, or get another Courier to hustle butt to that location to get the PU while you are on break, UNINTERRUPTED.

    Express will do whatever it can to get you onto unpaid time (while you are 'available' to rapidly come back onto the clock). You have NO OBLIGATION to comply with this. You can't respond to p-pad messages (it is blanked out), and you shouldn't answer your cell if you have given your number to dispatch or management. You are a 'non-exempt' employee - so you aren't required to be available for phone calls when you are on unpaid time.

    If you are to code an unpaid break, you have NO OBLIGATION to stay in contact with dispatch or management, shouldn't be operating your vehicle and are not responsible for anything which may occur during break time which you would normally respond to if you weren't on break.

    In short, if you are on 'your time', make damn sure dispatch knows about it BEFORE you enter it into your p-pad (give them a couple of minutes to respond with acknowledgement), then enter the break, holster the p-pad and forget about Express for awhile.
  20. Operational needs

    Operational needs Non desistas. Non exieras.

    I forgot about the DOT definition of break. The courier couldn't even leave his vehicle because he couldn't start it to move and
    Close the back doors. Unfortunately, he is a rookie and didn't know his rights. When he told the Sr that he was going to call HR he was told that this isn't an HR issue. I'm trying to educate him. Lol. It may be for nothing though because I may have finally convinced him that UPS may give him a crap sandwich too but at least there he will eventually get paid well for it. And FedEx will lose another good courier.