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which contract for Air BnB residences / can employees waive break time 
December 21, 2018
which contract for Air BnB residences
    We do commercial and residential security and fire systems. I bet I’m not the only one seeing the increase on “Air BNB” clients buying and renovating homes to rent out rooms for a short time or the whole house. Do we use the Residential or the Commercial All in One?
I’m pretty sure I already know the answer, and most clients would like to ignore what should be done, but I’d like to hear how others are dealing with this issue.
    Not sure how others are dealing with it and I'd like to hear from them too. In the mean time, here is how you should handle it.
    A conversion of a single family dwelling to boarding house, hotel, multiple dwelling would require a building permit and that may require a zoning change or a commercial certificate of occupancy. In all likelihood the building would have to have a commercial fire alarm system.
    Many homeowners won't get a permit. They will advertise on Air BnB and whatever other platforms there are to rent out their houses and rooms without concerning themselves with zoning or other laws.
    What is your responsibility for fire alarms or security alarms?
    You should recommend the proper system; then you can sell and install whatever the customer wants to pay for. You're not the fire alarm police. Make sure you get the Disclaimer Notice signed and make sure it clearly states that you recommended something other than what the customer decided to contract for. 
Which contract should you use for a single family dwelling that the owner is turning into a commercial business? You can always use a Residential All in One for both residential and commercial jobs. Since the building is essentially a residence I think it's fine to use the Residential All in One.
    If the owner has gotten a permit and CO for a commercial use and building then the Fire All in One will be appropriate.
    You should never install equipment you know is improper or illegal. No fake smoke detectors; no cameras and audio in the bathroom, no hidden cameras in bedrooms you know are intended for renters. If you have doubts about certain equipment or systems, try and think about what you'd be testifying to when you are sitting on the stand defending yourself against a lawsuit because of the equipment you installed. "That's what the customer wanted or paid for" may not be a sufficient answer.
can employees waive break time
    We have a small family owned alarm business and I recently heard about horror stories with “PAGA” lawsuits [PRIVATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL ACT (PAGA)
The Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) authorizes aggrieved employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for Labor Code violations] for frivolous employer California labor law violations such as allowing an employee (who wants to take off a little early to go to a doctors appointment.) to take a shortened lunch break.
    My question is, would it be legal for us to have our employees sign a ‘waiver’ that says that they are taking it upon themselves to modify their lunch or break times at their own discretion and that it's their decision so that they can use that time to takeoff early, etc., etc.??
Thank you again for all you do,
    I asked one of our lawyers in our Employment Law Department to respond. Here is his response:
    In short, no it is not advisable. In 2012, the California Supreme Court decided an important meal and rest break case, Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court. The only situation in which employees may waive their meal break is if their work day will be completed in no more than six hours. In this case, both the employee and the employer must mutually agree to the waiver and ideally, it should be in writing. The Court found that employers have met their meal break obligation if they relieve employees of all duties for half an hour and allow employees to leave the worksite. 
    Employers may not pressure employees to work during their meal break, but they are not required to police employees to make sure no one works during a break. The meal break must take place within the first 5 hours of the shift. 
Michael Foster, Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
516 747 6700 x 308
We can provide you with a meal break waiver form. Contact Michael Foster at or 516 747 6700 x 308 or contact our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312.

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301
516 747 6700