What are the state and or federal laws in Arizona regarding lunch breaks and on the clock short breaks?
Is there such a guideline for an employer to follow?
There are no Arizona or federal guidelines for meal periods or breaks.
Nineteen U.S. states require that employers give meal breaks to nearly every employee. A few of those states also require that employers give workers shorter breaks. However, Arizona has no break law at the state level, and there are no federal laws requiring breaks in general industry.
The best practice in most industries is for employers to give workers one unpaid meal break of 30 minutes or more plus two 10 or 15 minute paid breaks on a shift of 8 hours or more. Research has shown that employees who are given such breaks are actually more productive — they accomplish more, in less time. However, there is no law that requires this in Arizona.
Under the federal FLSA or Fair Labor Standards Act, an employee must be paid for breaks that are shorter than 20 minutes. The employee need not be paid for a meal break that is longer than 20 minutes, if the employee is relieved of duties during that time.
OSHA standards require that workers be permitted to drink water and to use the restroom when nature calls. Different standards apply in some specialized professions such as long-haul truck drivers and airline pilots.
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