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Mar05

Nevada Rest Periods and Meal Breaks

Is there any federal law that a Nevada employer must give coffee breaks or meal breaks to workers?

Yes, Nevada does have a law requiring employers to give both rest breaks and a meal break to employees. Nevada employers are required to give workers a 10-minute paid rest break for each 4 hours of work, “or major fraction thereof.” Whenever practical, the break should be in the middle of each work period.

No rest break is required for employees whose total work time is less than 3.5 hours.

Under Nevada law, an employee must receive a half-hour break if the work is for a continuous 8 hours or more. This meal break may be unpaid, if the employee is completely relieved of all duties.

Both laws specifically exclude employees working under a union contract. Both laws apply to employers where there are two or more employees at a particular place of employment.

The Nevada Labor Commissioner may grant an exemption to either or both of these laws, if the employer provides evidence of business necessity.

Nevada workers are more fortunate than those in many other states. Only 6 states have both meal break and rest break laws. They are California, Colorado, Kentucky, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Two other states have break laws, but they are very limited in application. Illinois has a law that covers only hotel room attendants in the city of Chicago. The Minnesota break law specifies only that workers must have enough time to use the nearest restroom.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2008 at 4:54 pm and is filed under
Labor Laws, Performance Management.
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23 Responses to “Nevada Rest Periods and Meal Breaks”

  1. Danna Nordin Says:

    If there is a mutual agreement between employers and employees, can the meal and rest periods be combined as long as the rest period portion is paid?

  2. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Donna! No, this is not acceptable under Nevada law. The break has to be in the middle of the 4-hour work segment. In the situation you have described, the employee received a longer lunch break, but no rest break. The employer is in violation of the Nevada break law. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  3. Joel Says:

    I work (worked) for an employer that combined, for all its employees, the two 10 minute breaks and 30 minute lunch break into one 50 minute break. What kind of legal recourse do I have?

  4. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Joel! This is not legal in Nevada, and you can file a complaint with the Nevada Labor Commissioner at http://www.laborcommissioner.com/faqs.htm. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  5. Ray Says:

    Does NAC 608.145:

    “3. An employee may voluntarily agree to forego any rest period or meal period. The employer has the burden to prove the existence of any such agreement.”

    allow an employee and employer to modify rest and meal requirements or forego breaks altogether?

  6. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Ray! Yes, the regulation you cite permits an employer and employee to modify or forego the breaks, but only if both agree. And it is up to the employer to prove that there is such an agreement in place. The safest course for the Nevada employer is to have a union contract or signed agreement in place, or to require breaks. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  7. Sabrina Says:

    My employer provides two 15 minute paid breaks everyday. If I miss my break or come back early should I be paid overtime? Am I breaking the law by not taking my breaks?

  8. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Sabrina! No, you should not be paid overtime if you miss your paid break or come back early. You are already being paid for that time. In most states, an employee is entitled to overtime only when he or she works more than 40 hours per week. In Nevada, minimum wage employees are also entitled to overtime when working more than 8 hours per day. However, skipping a paid break does not extend your work day.
    Nevada law requires that employees be given a 10-minute break for each 3.5 hours worked. If you do not take this break, the employer is breaking the law. They have the right to discipline or terminate you for skipping a break. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  9. Brian Says:

    My job gives me a hour long lunch and 2 10 min breakes, but now they are saying since I get an hour long lunch that I dont get my 10 min breaks. Im pretty sure this is not ok but I dont want to lose my hour lunch, so is it ok for me to have a hour long lunch (unpaid) and 2 10 min breaks (paid) or are they going to have to change it to a half hour lunch?

  10. Caitlin Says:

    Hi Brian! Under Nevada law, the employer must give you a paid 10-minute break for each 4-hour work segment (or major portion thereof.) The law only requires the employer to give you an unpaid lunch break of 30 minutes. There is no law that requires a Nevada employer to give workers a longer meal break.
    The employer could reduce your lunch break to 30 minutes any time they want to.
    You are probably correct that they would reduce your lunch break to 30 minutes if you demanded your paid rest breaks. The only way to know for sure is to try. However, if it is important to you to keep your one-hour lunch break, you may not want to rock the boat, even though what the employer is doing is not legal. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Caitlin

  11. Chris Says:

    I have a part time job at a nightclub. I work 6 hr shifts without any 10 min break. Is there some type of exemption for businesses in the hospitality industry or should I report my employer and let them know I have documented every shift I worked without a break?

  12. Cindy Says:

    I work 8 hours everyday, straight no breaks, what so ever. What should I do? Does the career matter, or are the laws the same for all businesses?

  13. hrlady Says:

    Hi Cindy,

    The U.S. Department of Labor does not require a business to provide a break period or lunch. Some states do require an employer to offer a break or lunch period (check your state requirements). In lieu, of any required state or local laws for breaks or meal periods, your business may have a policy on break or meal period. Your employer may not be required to have a policy,according to applicable laws, and therefore does not offer or state in a policy.

    Thank You for visiting the HumanResourceBlog.com

  14. Brad Says:

    What breaks are required under Nevada law for a 10 hour work day?

  15. Jay Says:

    Can an employer legally require you to remain on the premises during a paid break? If you choose to leave can they require you to take it unpaid legally?

  16. hrlady Says:

    Hi Brad,
    Nevada employers must provide employees a meal period of at least thirty minutes when working for a continuous period of eight hours. In addition, a Nevada employer must provide two – ten minute rest periods if an employee works at least seven continuous hours and less than eleven continuous hours.
    Thank you for reading the Humanresourceblog.com

  17. hrlady Says:

    Hi Jay,
    The U. S. Department of Labor does not require lunch or breaks. They state that unauthorized extensions of authorized work breaks need not be counted as hours worked when the employer has expressly and unambiguously communicated to the employee that the authorized break may only last for a specific length of time, and any extension of the break is contrary to the employer’s rules and any extension of the break will be punished.
    With that said, it appears that if the employer grant paid breaks they can set rules associated with those breaks.
    Thank you for reading the Humanresourceblog.com

  18. Ann Says:

    Is it against the law if employers require 10-min rest breaks and unpaid?

  19. hrlady Says:

    Hi Ann,
    In Nevada, employees are required to take a paid ten minute rest break for every four hours worked. Nevada law is very clear that the short rest period is compensable time.

  20. James Says:

    Can someone tell me if during an 8-hour shift a second ten minute break is required? Is the break schedule for an 8-hour shift 10-30-10? Or are only the first two absolutely required and the last is a luxury? Thanks!

  21. hrlady Says:

    Hi James,
    The break schedule for an eight hour shift in Nevada would be 10-30-10 as you describe. Nevada regulations require a paid ten minute break for every four hours worked as well as an unpaid thirty minute meal period when working for a continuous period of eight hours.

  22. Christina Says:

    What is the break requirement for a six hour shift?

  23. hrlady Says:

    Hi Christina,
    In Nevada, employers must provide employees a meal period of at least thirty 30 minutes when working for a continuous period of 8 hours. Employers must provide employees a break of a minimum of 10 minutes for each 4 hours worked or major fraction thereof. The break must be paid. The number/duration of meal periods/breaks is based on the total hours worked each day. An employee working six hours must receive one 10 minute break.

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