Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Pharmacy
Regulations Governing the Practice of Pharmacy [18 VAC 110 ‑ 20]
Action Pharmacy working conditions
Stage Emergency/NOIRA
Comment Period Ended on 11/22/2023
Previous Comment     Back to List of Comments
11/22/23  11:46 pm
Commenter: Janeen Richards

Meal and other breaks- pharmacists and techs

Technicians are hourly employees and are covered by labor laws to be eligible for 15 minute breaks and 30 min meal breaks. Many of them don’t take these because of the feeling of pressure in pharmacy because of the work load. There should be a hotline established by the BOP where techs can report their location and managers who are not facilitating the ability for them to take breaks. I am very fortunate that my store management is diligent about providing breaks but I know in this chai and in others, techs do not take breaks that they deserve.

As for pharmacists, I’d always been told that since we are ‘medical professionals’, we are exempt from the 2 breaks 1 meal break per shift. This is ridiculous. We need several mental breaks throughout our shift. Again, I a very lucky to get a recognized 30 minute meal break, though even writing that sentence makes me cringe, but other major chains don’t even allow that. These chains should not be permitted to operate in VA without providing breaks for their pharmacists. And in addition, we too, should be able to take breaks throughout the day. Again, a hotline can be maintained to report employers who don’t provide these most basic needs for their pharmacists. 

Since chains are NOT the pioneers in worker’s rights, I do believe the BOP should advocate for the health of its pharmacists and pharmacy techs. Because if you set standards for our working environment, you ultimately create a place where customers will be more safe and better cared for.

CommentID: 220714