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Answer Man: Dental office was extracted from 2nd Street lineup

Dear Answer Man, what happened to the house on the corner of Second Street Southwest and Sixth Avenue, just across from the Ozmun Building?

Good question. The house was knocked down last week or thereabouts and the site has been nicely prepared for something, though I haven't been able to find out what.

That old house at 123 Sixth Ave. S.W. was actually a four-plex owned by Dr. John Sund, who had a dental office there for 42 years. I talked to John on Thursday and he said the house was built about 1912 and chopped into a four-plex, like many old houses in that neighborhood, in the late 1930s or '40s. John was a dentist for 48 years, following in the footsteps of his father, Frederick, who had an office downtown for many years.

He declined to say who owns the property now or what the plans might be, and the city information isn't updated yet, so I'll leave it a mystery for today. That's a busy intersection, with churches and the Just Rite Foods market just uphill, the Dan Abraham Center slightly downhill, and medical guest houses nearby. I'm sure the future of that property won't be a mystery for long.

Who was Ozmun? — A.M.

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OK, I asked that one. As with anything I don't know, I did know it at one time but my brain misfiled it.

The Ozmun family goes way back in Rochester history. Kenneth L. Ozmun, who was born here, and his wife Lillian lived in Chicago and had close ties to Mayo through their lives. They left money in their estate for the clinic, and the money was used to repurpose what was the former Olmsted County Courthouse, at 515 Second St. S.W. The county moved to the current Government Center in 1993.

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Dear Answer Man, I have heard that a local restaurant has its waiters and waitresses report to work and then has them wait off the clock until they get busy. Then they let them punch in. Is this legal? They send them home also at the drop of a hat, probably when they see they can get along without them. My daughters used to work at a Rochester restaurant years ago and they made them take their "break" as soon as they arrived. This allowed them to work their employees longer and through their busiest time. — TRM, Rochester

That local restaurant is breaking workplace rules, as far as I can tell. According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry , "the employer is required to pay for all hours worked, including waiting time, call time, training time and any other time the employee is restricted to the premises of the employer." If you want more details on this, I'll link to the administrative rule online . It's pretty explicit.

As far as being required to take a "break" as soon as you arrive, I believe that's acceptable as long as you're on the clock. I would assume this "break" doesn't count against a lunch break, which is required if you work eight or more hours, and you're still entitled to a bathroom break within a four-hour work period.

According to Minnesota statute, any break of less than 20 minutes must be counted as hours worked. And again, if your employer calls you in and you sit spinning your wheels for a half-hour on "break," waiting for the cafe to get busy, and they keep that "break" off the clock, they're not playing by the rules.

I'm not a labor lawyer, but I don't believe these rules are complicated. If you want more details, call the labor department at 1-800-342-5354.

Related Topics: WORKPLACE
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