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Breaks for a Six Hour Shift

While I have read through all of the literature regarding meal breaks, I am still unclear as to whether or not an employee is entitled by law to be given a 30 minute unpaid lunch break if they work a non-factory job from (e.g.)3pm-9pm.

There is no federal law that requires employers to provide employees with rest breaks or meal periods. Some states have adopted their own laws regarding breaks and meal periods. So, feel free to provide the state in question in the comments section. We can then research any applicable laws for you.

Even if there is no state law requiring breaks or meal periods, employers should still consider providing them. Employees need time to rest and get away from work duties even for just a short time. Further, employees need to eat. Providing breaks and meal periods is essential for employee well-being, safety and productivity.

Though no breaks or meal periods are required by federal law, it’s common to permit one 15 minute break for every four hours worked and a 30 minute meal period for shifts lasting six hours or longer.

Remember, if an employer provides rest breaks or meal periods to employees the compensation of such time is regulated by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Under the FLSA, short breaks lasting less than twenty minutes in duration must be compensated.

Meal periods typically lasting thirty minutes serve a different purpose than short breaks and are not time required to be compensated. However, employees must be relieved of all work responsibilities during meal periods. If an employee does any work during his meal period the time must be compensated.

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 12th, 2015 at 9:12 pm and is filed under
Compensation, Labor Laws, Workplace Management.
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