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Dallas Passes Mandatory Breaks for Construction Workers

The ordinance mandates a 10 minute break for every four hours worked.

Tue December 15, 2015 - West Edition
CEG


Local Texas news affiliate NBC DFW is reporting that in a vote of 10-5, Dallas city council members passed a proposal that requires rest breaks for construction workers Tuesday morning.
Local Texas news affiliate NBC DFW is reporting that in a vote of 10-5, Dallas city council members passed a proposal that requires rest breaks for construction workers Tuesday morning.

Local Texas news affiliate NBC DFW is reporting that in a vote of 10-5, Dallas city council members passed a proposal that requires rest breaks for construction workers Tuesday morning.

The ordinance mandates a 10 minute break for every four hours worked.

Neither the federal Fair Labor Standards Act nor Texas law requires employers to give their employees breaks. Breaks are considered to be an optional employee benefit, according to FLSA.

The Workers Defense Project, an advocacy group that seeks better working conditions for laborers in Texas, pushed Dallas council for the rest break ordinance since 2014.

"They are not getting rest breaks," WSP spokeswoman Diana Ramirez said. "Some of them even laughed when I asked [if they got breaks.] They’re like, ’What are you talking about? Our employers would not do that.’"

That is a contention that a representative for the construction industry disputes.

"We’re not convinced there is a problem here," Dallas Builders Association executive officer Phil Crone said.

The Dallas Builders Association is a trade association that represents about 1,100 employers in the Dallas Metropolitan area.