Q & A – What are the requirements for rest and meal periods?

Q. What are the requirements for rest and meal periods?

A. Somewhat surprisingly, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act does not require employers to have any number or length of rest breaks or meal periods for employees.

Federal law does, however, require employers to pay nonexempt employees for rest breaks or meal periods that are less than 30 minutes in length or interrupted by any job duties. Only uninterrupted breaks of 30 minutes or more can be unpaid.

State law may require employers to provide rest breaks and meal periods of a specific number and length. Contact your MSEC representative at 800.884.1328 for more information.