Rest and Meal Breaks Lawyers
Is My Employer Required to Give Me a Rest Break?
There is no federal law requiring employers to give employees rest breaks during the work day. However, 7 states do require employers to give rest breaks:
- California - 10 minute break for every four hours worked provided that the work day is at least five hours long
- Colorado - 10 minutes for every four hours worked
- Kentucky - 10 minutes for every four hours worked
- Minnesota - "Reasonable" amount of time in a four-hour period "to use the restroom"
- Nevada - 10 minutes for every four hours worked
- Oregon - 10 minutes for every four hours worked
- Washington - 10 minutes for every four hours worked
To qualify as a "break," the employee must be fully relieved of his duties.
Is My Employer Required to Give Me a Meal Break?
Similarly, there is no federal law requiring employers to give employees meal breaks during the work day. However, 17 states do have statutes requiring meal periods during the work day. For example:
- California - 30 minutes after 5 hours, if the workday is at least 6 hours
- Illinois - 20 minutes after 5 hours, if the employee will work at least 7½ hours
- New York - One hour
Are the Laws Different for Different Groups of Employees?
Many states do have different requirements if the employee is a minor. For example, Florida does not have any state law requiring rest or meal breaks. However, in Florida, employees under the age of 17 are entitled to a 30 minute break for every 4 hours of work. Some states have different requirements depending on the nature of the work, i.e. factory workers.
Is My Employer Required to Pay Me During My Rest or Meal Breaks?
Federal law does not require the employer to give you a rest or meal break. However, for employers that do provide break time, federal law mandates that any breaks of 5-20 minutes must be compensated by the employer. However, a break lasting 30 minutes or more is not considered "compensable time" and the employer is not obligated to pay you.
Do I Need a Lawyer Specializing in Employment Law?
An experienced employment attorney can determine whether you are entitled to rest or meal breaks. An attorney can also assist you with a claim if you believe your employer has not paid you for compensable hours and any other wage disputes. If you are an employer, a lawyer will make sure you are in compliance with State and Federal Employment Laws.
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Last Modified: 01-22-2009 10:52 AM PST