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New Hampshire Republicans, completely in the pocket of the American Legislative Exchange Council, are now trying to strip workers of their most basic of rights -- including the right to have a lunch break. J.R. Hoell introduced a bill doing away with the lunch requirement:
“This is an unneeded law,” [Republican state Representative Kyle Jones] said. “If I was to deny one of my employees a break, I would be in a very bad position with the company’s human resources representative. If you consider that this is a very easy law to follow in that everyone already does it, then why do we need it? Our constituents have already proven that they have enough common sense to do this on their own.”
The bill’s sponsor, state representative J.R. Hoell, argued that companies failing to provide lunch breaks would be shamed over social media, thus rendering the law unnecessary. “If they are not letting people have lunch, they could put it out though the news media, though social media. I don’t think that abusive behavior would continue, the way communications are today,” he said.
Those arguments aren't just ridiculous in terms of their logic, they've also been proven wrong:
Back in 2005, Walmart was forced to pay $172 million for denying workers their lunch breaks. Pyramid Breweries Inc. settled a case in 2008 for $1.5 million. Just a few months ago, California ordered Embassy Suites to pay workers tens of thousands of dollars for forcing them to skip breaks.
It's unlikely that the bill will past, but it is a clear sign of the willingness of Republicans of late to propose any extreme, anti-worker legislation they like, because they don't fear the reactions of the public any more. Change the Nation is trying to take these Republicans to task and is asking everyone to text LUNCH to 69866, then share the action on Facebook and Twitter (which you can do via their website).
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