Meal and Rest Break Laws By State

Derek Jones

Derek Jones

VP of Business Development, Deputy Americas

October 12, 2018

Meal and Rest Break Laws By State

Derek Jones, VP of Business Development, Deputy Americas
October 12, 2018


 

Meal and Rest Break Laws By State

There are a number of laws and rules that must be followed when you’re running your own business. If not, you risk a number of consequences that range from a lawsuit to a full shutdown of your business. Here are a handful of areas that you should keep in mind to ensure you’re not breaking any laws or regulations and are following the guidelines of your industry.

  • Food guidance & regulation
  • Health inspections
  • Job discrimination
  • Overtime & minimum wage laws
  • Family leave
  • Disability discrimination
  • Military leave
  • Gender-pay differences
  • Immigration laws
  • Meal and rest break laws

The last area in particular, meal & rest break laws, is especially important for business owners to know and understand in order for them to build and maintain a business that follows regulations. Aside from the fact that they’ll likely face a hefty lawsuit if they don’t comply, businesses actually benefit from having employees take regular breaks each workday. Some of these benefits include:

  • A higher level of engagement among your workforce
  • Lower stress levels among employees
  • Employees that are less likely to experience burnout
  • A stronger employer brand that’s able to attract a higher standard of employee

To make sure you’re not breaking any laws and are building an environment where your employees can flourish, continue reading as we tackle the meal & rest break laws for each state.

Also, if you’d like an easy way to make sure you never have to worry about an employee taking a short break or missing a break altogether, then you should take a look at Deputy. An employee scheduling platform that’s able to alert you whenever an employee takes a break that’s too short or misses a break altogether. Watch Deputy in action.

Even better, you can try Deputy for free by clicking the button below!

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Click on your state to be directed to its corresponding meal & rest break laws:


Alabama Meal and Rest Break Laws

Alabama labor laws state that employers are to provide a 30 minute meal & rest period to employees ages 14 and 15 who are scheduled to work 5 continuous hours or more.

Alabama employers are not required to provide a meal period or breaks to employees 16 years of age and over, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. On the other hand, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (typically 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to read more regarding Alabama’s laws regarding meal & rest break laws.


Alaska Meal and Rest Break Laws

Alaska labor laws require employers to provide at least a 30 minute break to employees ages 14-17 as long as they work five or more consecutive hours. The break must also occur after the first hour and a half of work but before the beginning of the last hour of work.

Alaska employers are not required to provide breaks to employees aged 18 and over. However, if an employer chooses to provide a break, it must pay its employees for the time on break if it is 20 minutes or less. Meal periods provided by employers of over 20 minutes do not need to be paid, so long as employees do not perform any work.

Click here to be taken to Alaska’s meal & rest break laws.


Arizona Meal and Rest Break Laws

Arizona doesn’t have any labor laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, as long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding Arizona’s meal & rest break laws.


Arkansas Meal and Rest Break Laws

Arkansas labor laws do not require employers to provide meals or breaks to their employees unless they are children under the age of 16 employed in the entertainment industry. Click here to read the Arkansas child labor laws and administrative regulations.

However, if an employer chooses to provide a break period of 20 minutes or less, it must be paid. Additionally, if an employer chooses to provide a meal period (typically 30 minutes or longer), it may be unpaid so long as the employee is completely relieved of all work duties during the meal period.

Click here to learn more regarding Arkansas’s meal & rest break laws. 


California Meal and Rest Break Laws

California labor laws require that employers provide employees with a meal period of no less than 30 minutes when they work more than five consecutive hours (more than six hours for employees in the motion picture industry in specific situations). Unless the employee is relieved of all duties during the entire 30 minute meal period and is free to leave the employer’s premises, the meal period must be counted as hours worked and paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay. California law only permits employers to provide an “on duty” meal period when the nature of the work prevents the employee from being relieved of all duty and when by written agreement between the employer and employee an on-the-job meal period is agreed to.

Click here to read up on the California Labor Code to learn more.


Colorado Meal and Rest Break Laws

Colorado labor laws require employers doing business in the retail and service, food and beverage, commercial support services, or health and medical industries, to provide their employees with a meal period of no less than thirty minutes when they work more than five consecutive hours. The employee must be relieved of all duties during the entire thirty-minute meal period. This “duty-free” meal period may be unpaid. When it is not practical because of the nature of an employee’s job to permit a “duty-free” meal period, the employee must have permission to consume an “on-duty” meal and must be compensated for the break time.

Colorado employers in the retail and service, food and beverage, commercial support services, or health and medical industries, must provide employees with a ten minute, paid break for every four hours worked or major fraction thereof. The break should be in the middle of the shift, if practical.

Colorado does not have any meal or break requirements for employers in industries other than retail and service, food and beverage, commercial support services, and health and medical, thus the federal rules apply. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to read more regarding Colorado’s meal & rest break laws.


Connecticut Meal and Rest Break Laws

Connecticut labor laws require employers to provide their employees a meal period of at least thirty consecutive minutes if they have worked for 7 and a half or more consecutive hours. Such period shall be given at some time after the first two hours of work and before the last two hours. The Labor Commissioner will exempt an employer from this requirement if one of the following conditions is present:

  • complying with this requirement would endanger public safety
  • the duties of the position can only be performed by one employee
  • the employer employs fewer than 5 employees on that shift at that one location (this only applies only to employees on that particular shift); or
  • the employer’s operation requires that employees be available to respond to urgent conditions and that the employees are compensated for the meal period.

There are no state laws requiring an employer to provide a break. However, in accordance with federal law, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty minutes, must be paid.

Click here to read more regarding Connecticut’s labor laws.


Delaware Meal and Rest Break Laws

Delaware labor laws require employers to grant a meal break of at least 30 consecutive minutes to employees 18 years of age or older scheduled to work 7.5 or more hours per day. The meal break may be unpaid, except under rare circumstances. Meal breaks must be given sometime after the first two (2) hours of work and before the last two (2) hours of work. This rule does not apply when:

  • The employee is a professional employee certified by Delaware’s State Board of Education and employed by a local school board to work directly with children.
  • There is a collective bargaining agreement or other employer-employee written agreement, which provides otherwise.

The Secretary of Labor has issued rules granting exemptions when:

  • Compliance would adversely affect public safety
  • Only one employee may perform the duties of a position
  • An employer has fewer than five employees on a shift at one location (the exception would only apply to that shift).
  • Continuous nature of an employer’s operations such as chemical production or research experiments requires employees to respond to urgent or unusual conditions at all times and the employees are compensated for their meal breaks.

Where exemptions are allowed, employees must be allowed to eat meals at their workstations or other authorized locations and use restroom facilities as reasonably necessary.

Delaware employers must grant a meal break of at least 30 consecutive minutes to employees under the age of 18 scheduled to work more than 5 hours continuously per day.

Click here to learn more regarding Delaware’s meal & rest break laws.


District of Columbia Meal and Rest Break Laws

District of Columbia labor laws do not have any meal or break requirements for employers, thus the federal rules apply. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding Delaware’s meal & rest break laws.


Florida Meal and Rest Break Laws

Florida labor laws require employers to grant a meal period of at least 30 minutes to employees under the age of 18 who work for more than 4 hours continuously.

Florida does not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees 18 years of age or older, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding Florida’s meal & rest break laws.


Georgia Meal and Rest Break Laws

Georgia labor laws do not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding Georgia’s meal & rest break laws.


Hawaii Meal and Rest Break Laws

Hawaii labor laws require an employer to grant a meal period of at least 30 minutes to employees 14 or 15 years of age after five consecutive hours of work.

Hawaii does not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees 16 years of age or older, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding Hawaii’s meal & rest break laws.


Idaho Meal and Rest Break Laws

Idaho labor laws do not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding Idaho’s meal & rest break laws.


Illinois Meal and Rest Break Laws

Illinois law requires employers to permit employees who are to work 7 and a half continuous hours or more to take a meal period of at least 20 minutes. The meal period may be unpaid and it must be given to an employee no later than 5 hours after beginning work. Moreover, an employer must permit employees to take at least a twenty minute meal period for each continuous 7 and a half hours they work.

Illinois does not have a law regarding breaks other than the 20 minute meal period, thus the federal standard applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks lasting less than 20 minutes must be paid.

For Illinois employees under the age of 16, employers must provide a meal period of at least 30 minutes if the employee is scheduled to work more than 5 consecutive hours.

Click here to read more on the meal & break laws for Illinois.


Indiana Meal and Rest Break Laws

Indiana labor laws require employers to provide either one or two rest periods totaling thirty minutes to employees under the age of eighteen if scheduled to work six or more consecutive hours.

Indiana does not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees eighteen years of age or older, so the federal rule applies in their case. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks lasting less than twenty minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more about Indiana’s meal & rest break laws.


Iowa Meal and Rest Break Laws

Iowa labor laws require employers to grant a meal period of at least thirty minutes to employees under the age of sixteen scheduled to work five or more consecutive hours.

Iowa does not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees sixteen years of age or older, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks lasting less than twenty minutes must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding Iowa’s meal & rest break laws.


Kansas Meal and Rest Break Laws

Kansas labor laws do not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, so the federal rule applies in their case. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks lasting less than 20 minutes must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid as long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to read more regarding Kansas’s meal & rest break laws.


Kentucky Meal and Rest Break Laws

Kentucky labor laws require employers to provide employees with a rest period of at least 10 minutes during each four hours of work. The rest period is a paid break.

Employers must also provide a reasonable period for a meal no sooner than the third nor later than the fifth hour of a work shift unless it has mutually agreed with the employee to some other arrangement. A meal period does not have to be paid so long as the employee is relieved of all duties during the break.

Click here to read more regarding Kentucky’s meal & rest break laws.


Louisiana Meal and Rest Break Laws

Louisiana labor laws require employers to provide a meal period to employees under the age of eighteen years who are scheduled to work five consecutive hours. The meal period does not need to be paid.

Louisiana doesn’t have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees eighteen years of age or older, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (typically thirty minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding Louisiana’s meal & rest break laws.


Maine Meal and Rest Break Laws

Maine’s labor laws requires employers to give employees the opportunity to take an unpaid rest break of thirty consecutive minutes after six hours worked if three or more people are on duty. An employee and employer may negotiate for more or less breaks, but both must agree (this should be put in writing). According to federal law, if an employer grants a non-meal rest break (usually twenty minutes or fewer), the break must be paid.

Click here to learn more regarding Maine’s meal & rest break laws.


Maryland Meal and Rest Break Laws

Maryland’s labor laws require employers to provide employees under the age of 18 with a 30 minute break for every 5 consecutive hours of work.

The Healthy Retail Employee Act requires certain employers in the retail industry to provide employees with breaks. The length of the break depends on the duration of the employee’s shift.

Click here to learn more regarding Maryland’s meal & break laws.


Massachusetts Meal and Rest Break Laws

Under Massachusetts labor laws, most employees must be given a 30 minute break after 6 hours of work. In addition, most employees must be given a day of rest after working 6 consecutive days. The day of rest is defined as 24 hours of rest and must include the interval from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Click here to read up on Massachusetts laws regarding meal & rest breaks.


Michigan Meal and Rest Break Laws

Michigan requires that employees that are considered minors must be given at least 30 consecutive minutes or more for every 5 hours worked. Other than that, there are no other meal or rest break requirements in Michigan.

Click here to learn more regarding Michigan’s meal & rest break laws.


Minnesota Meal and Rest Break Laws

Minnesota labor laws requires employers to provide employees bathroom breaks as well as enough time to eat a meal. The mealtime requirement applies to employees who work eight or more consecutive hours. If the break is less than twenty minutes in duration, it must be paid. Time to use the nearest restroom must be provided within every four consecutive hours of work.

Click here to learn more regarding Minnesota’s meal & rest break laws.


Mississippi Meal and Rest Break Laws

Minnesota labor laws require employers to provide employees restroom time and sufficient time to eat a meal. The mealtime requirement applies to employees who work eight or more consecutive hours. If the break is less than twenty minutes in duration, it must be paid. Time to use the nearest restroom must be provided within each four consecutive hours of work.

Click here to learn more regarding Mississippi’s meal & rest break laws.


Missouri Meal and Rest Break Laws

Missouri labor laws do not have any rules requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, so in their case, the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to read more regarding Missouri’s meal & rest break laws.


Montana Meal and Rest Break Laws

Montana has few requirements around meal breaks and rest breaks are not required. However, if the employer provides rest breaks, then that time must be counted as time worked. Meal breaks must also be counted as time worked. The only exception to this is if the meal break is at least 30 minutes long and if the employee is relieved of all work duties.

Click here to learn more regarding Montana’s meal & rest break laws.


Nebraska Meal and Rest Break Laws

Nebraska labor laws require employers to provide employees in assembling plants, mechanical establishments, and workshops a 30 minute lunch period in each shift of at least eight hours. Aside from those industries, employers are not required to offer any specific breaks to their employees.

Click here to learn more regarding Nebraska’s meal & rest break laws.


Nevada Meal and Rest Break Laws

Nevada requires breaks for meals, rest, nursing mothers, and domestic workers.
Employers must provide employees with at least a 30 minute meal break for every 8 hours of continuous work. In addition, employees must be provided with at least a 10 minute rest break for every 4 hours worked in a day. If an employee’s total work time is 3 and a half hours or less, then a break is not required. However, there are a few exceptions to meal and rest breaks.

For example, if only one employee is at a specific place of employment, then the breaks are not required. In addition, any employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement fall outside these requirements. Click here to read more regarding Nevada’s meal & rest break laws.

Click here to learn more regarding Nevada’s meal & rest break laws.


New Hampshire Meal and Rest Break Laws

Under New Hampshire labor laws, employers cannot require that an employee work more than five consecutive hours without granting a thirty minute lunch or eating period. If the employer cannot allow thirty minutes, the employee must be paid if they are eating and working at the same time. In accordance with federal law, if an employer chooses to provide additional breaks, they must be paid if they are of the type usually lasting less than twenty minutes.

Click here to learn more regarding New Hampshire’s meal & rest break laws.


New Jersey Meal and Rest Break Laws

New Jersey employment law requires that minors must be given at least 30 minutes of break time if they work more than 5 continuous hours.

In addition, the state also requires reasonable accommodations to be made for an employees pregnancy and for nursing mother employees. Nursing mothers must be provided with reasonable breaks and a room to express breast milk. The location accommodations cannot include a toilet stall.

Click here to learn more regarding New Jersey’s meal & rest break laws.


New Mexico Meal and Rest Break Laws

New Mexico labor laws don’t have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal or rest break to their employees, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding New Mexico’s meal & rest break laws.


New York Meal and Rest Break Laws

New York has a number of laws meant to protect their employees. Workers who are on the clock during the lunch period must be allowed at least 30 minutes off for a meal break. Employees who start work before 11:00 am and work until after 7:00 pm must be allowed a second meal break of at least 20 minutes.

In addition, employees who work at least 6 hours between the hours of 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm must be allowed a meal break of at least 45 minutes. This break should be between the beginning and the end of the shift.

However, in a situation where only one employee is on the job or in a specific occupation, the employee may volunteer to work without a break. The employee must be allowed to eat on the job. If the employee requests a meal break, then it must be granted.

Plus, in certain situations, the New York Department of Labor may permit shorter breaks. This will be in writing and must be posted at the main entrance of the workplace. Along with that, rest breaks are not required for employers in the state of New York.

Click here to learn more regarding the meal & rest break laws for New York.


North Carolina Meal and Rest Break Laws

North Carolina requires that employees under the age of 16 be given at least a 30 minute rest break after 5 hours of work. Aside from that, there are no other required rest or meal breaks that are required by North Carolina.

Click here to learn more regarding the meal & rest break laws for North Carolina.


North Dakota Meal and Rest Break Laws

North Dakota labor laws require employers to provide employees with an unpaid 30 minute uninterrupted meal break when scheduled to work more than five hours and two or more employees are on duty. An employer is not required to provide any other breaks. However, if they do, the breaks must be paid if they are less than thirty minutes.

Click here to learn more regarding North Dakota’s meal & rest break laws.


Ohio Meal and Rest Break Laws

Employees who are minors must be given a 30 minute break for every 5 consecutive hours worked, this break is also unpaid. Ohio does not have any additionally required rest or meal breaks.

Click here to read more regarding Ohio’s meal & rest break laws.


Oklahoma Meal and Rest Break Laws

Oklahoma labor laws require employers to provide employees under the age of sixteen a 30 minute rest period when scheduled to work more than 5 consecutive hours. Moreover, employers must provide employees under sixteen years of age a one hour cumulative rest period for each eight consecutive hours worked. Along with that, Oklahoma doesn’t have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees that are sixteen years of age or older, so the federal rule applies in this circumstance.

Click here to read more regarding Oklahoma meal & rest break laws.


Oregon Meal and Rest Break Laws

Oregon labor laws require employers to provide employees with at least a 30 minute unpaid meal period when the work period is six hours or greater. The law requires an uninterrupted period in which the employee is relieved of all duties. No meal period is required if the work period is less than six hours. Oregon employers must also give employees that are 18 years of age or older with a paid, uninterrupted 10-minute rest break for every four hour segment or major portion thereof in the work period.

Click here to read more regarding Oregon’s meal & rest break laws.


Pennsylvania Meal and Rest Break Laws

Pennsylvania labor laws require employers to provide a thirty minute break period to employees ages fourteen through seventeen who work five or more consecutive hours. Also, Pennsylvania doesn’t require employers to give breaks to employees aged eighteen or over. If an employer does choose to offer employees a break and it lasts less than 20 minutes than it must be paid.

Click here to learn more regarding Pennsylvania’s meal & rest break laws.


Rhode Island Meal and Rest Break Laws

Rhode Island requires most employees to be given at least a 20 minute meal break during a 6-hour shift. Employees who work 8 hours or more must be given at least a 30 minute meal break. However, the meal breaks may be unpaid. In addition to that, Rhode Island protects employees who refuse to work on a Sunday or a holiday. Employers are prohibited from retaliating or discriminating against these employees.

Click here to learn more regarding Rhode Island’s meal & rest break laws.


South Carolina Meal and Rest Break Laws

South Carolina labor laws don’t have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or rest breaks to employees, so the federal rule applies in their case. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding South Carolina’s meal & rest break laws.


South Dakota Meal and Rest Break Laws

South Dakota labor laws do not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, so the federal rule applies in their case. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding South Dakota’s meal & rest break laws.


Tennessee Meal and Rest Break Laws

Tennessee labor laws require employers to provide a 30 minute rest period to employees who are scheduled to work six consecutive hours, except in workplace environments where the nature of the business provides for ample opportunity to rest or take an appropriate break. Employers are not required by state law to provide any other breaks. In the case where an employer chooses to do so, non-meal breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty minutes, must be paid.

Click here to learn more regarding Tennessee meal & rest break laws.


Texas Meal and Rest Break Laws

Texas labor laws do not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding Texas meal & rest break laws.


Utah Meal and Rest Break Laws

Utah labor laws require employers to provide a meal period of not less than thirty minutes to employees under the age of eighteen scheduled to work more than five hours. Employers must provide a rest break of at least ten minutes to employees under the age of eighteen for every three hour period or part thereof that is worked. Utah does not require employers to provide breaks, including lunch breaks, for workers eighteen years old or older. An employer who chooses to provide a break in excess of twenty minutes does not have to pay wages for lunch periods or other breaks if the employee is free to leave the worksite, in fact takes their lunch or break, and the employee does not actually perform work. According to federal law, breaks twenty minutes or shorter typically must be paid.

Click here to learn more regarding Utah’s meal & rest break laws.


Vermont Meal and Rest Break Laws

Under Vermont labor laws, an employer must provide its employees with “reasonable opportunity” to eat and use toilet facilities in order to protect the health and hygiene of the employee. Other than that, the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to learn more regarding Vermont’s meal & rest break laws.


Virginia Meal and Rest Break Laws

Virginia labor laws require employers to provide a lunch period of at least thirty minutes to employees ages fourteen and fifteen when scheduled to work for more than five hours continuously. Virginia does not require employers to provide breaks, including lunch breaks, for workers sixteen years old or older. An employer who chooses to provide a break in excess of twenty minutes does not have to pay wages for lunch periods or other breaks if the employee is free to leave the worksite, takes their lunch or break, and the employee does not actually perform work. According to federal law, breaks twenty minutes or shorter usually must be paid.

Click here to read more regarding Virginia’s meal & rest break laws.


Washington Meal and Rest Break Laws

Washington labor laws require employers to provide employees a paid rest break of at least ten minutes for each four hours worked. The rest period must be allowed no later than the end of the third hour of the shift.

Employers must provide at least a thirty minute meal period if an employee works more than five hours in a shift. Employees must be at least two hours into the shift before the meal time can start and the meal time cannot start more than five hours after the beginning of the shift. Employers are not required to pay for meal periods if workers are free from any duties for their entire meal period. Workers must be paid during their meal break when:

  • they are required or allowed to remain on duty
  • they are required to be on-call at the business premises or designated worksite to be available to return to duty even if
  • they are not in fact called back to duty
  • they are called back to duty during their meal period even though they normally are not on call during the meal period

Click here to read more regarding Washington’s meal & rest break laws.


West Virginia Meal and Rest Break Laws

Under West Virginia labor laws, in situations where employees are not afforded necessary breaks and/or permitted to eat while working, West Virginia employers must provide their employees a meal break of least twenty minutes when scheduled to work six or more hours, at times reasonably designated by the employer. Other rest periods, granted at the discretion of the employer, must be paid if they last less than twenty minutes. Employers must provide employees under the age of sixteen a lunch period of at least thirty minutes if scheduled to work more than five hours.

Click here to read more regarding West Virginia’s meal & rest break laws.


Wisconsin Meal and Rest Break Laws

Wisconsin labor laws require employers to provide employees under the age of eighteen at least a 30 minute duty-free meal period when working a shift greater than six hours in duration. Wisconsin does not require employers to provide breaks, including lunch breaks, for workers eighteen years old or older. An employer who chooses to provide a break in excess of thirty minutes does not have to pay wages for the break period if the employee is free to leave the worksite and the employee does not actually perform work. Though, breaks lasting less than thirty minutes must be paid.

Click here to read more regarding Wisconsin’s meal & rest break laws.


Wyoming Meal and Rest Break Laws

Wyoming labor laws do not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, so in this case the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks usually lasting less than twenty minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty minutes or more) do not need to be paid, as long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period.

Click here to read more regarding Wyoming’s meal & rest break laws.


Last thoughts

Each state has their own specific rules & regulations in regards to how they handle their meal & rest breaks, so make sure you’re very aware of what the laws are in your state to ensure you are doing what you’re supposed to.

Meal and Rest Break Laws By State

To be sure you never break any regulations in regards to your employees’ meal & rest breaks, then make sure to try out Deputy. An employee scheduling platform that’s able to alert you whenever an employee takes a break that is too short or misses a break altogether. To see it in action for yourself, click on the button below to begin your free trial!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Derek Jones
Derek is the VP of Business Development in North America and has 16+ years’ experience in delivering data-driven sales and marketing strategies to SaaS companies.
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