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Are we required to give employees who work a 4-hour shift a break?

There is no federal law that requires private employers to provide their employees with either rest breaks or meal periods. Doing so is a matter of company policy or employment agreement. Some states have adopted their own laws regarding breaks and meal periods. So, it’s important to be aware of applicable state or local regulations.

Of course, providing rest breaks and meal periods are essential to employee productivity, job satisfaction and overall employee well-being. Even if doing so is not required by law, it’s a basic benefit that should be provided to all employees.

It’s fairly common to provide a 15-minute break for employees working 4 hours and/or at least a 30 minute meal period for employees working 6 hours or more.

When it comes to compensating employees for meal periods employers must follow pay requirements set forth under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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

Meal periods lasting thirty minutes or more serve a different purpose than short breaks and are not time required to be compensated. 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 and counted towards the total number of hours worked in the workweek.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2017 at 7:46 pm and is filed under
Labor Laws.
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