Meal and Rest Breaks for Minors Handbook Statement: Kentucky

Author: Amy E. Mendenhall, Marissa L. Dragoo, Corinn Jackson, and Judith A. Paulson, Littler

When to Include

Kentucky employers that employ minor employees (those under age 18) should consider including this statement in their handbook to inform the minor employees and their supervisors about legally required meal and rest breaks and to demonstrate compliance with Kentucky's meal and rest breaks for minor's law.

Customizable Handbook Statement

Meal and Rest Breaks for Minors

Employees under the age of 18 who work five or more continuous hours are required to take an uninterrupted 30-minute meal break. For purposes of determining whether the employee has worked five continuous hours, breaks lasting less than 30 minutes will be counted as time worked. During the break, employees will be relieved of all duties. Employees are also entitled to a 10 minute paid rest break for every four hours of work. An uninterrupted 30-minute meal break will be unpaid for nonexempt employees.

Any employee who is unable to take all of the meal breaks to which they are entitled in accordance with this policy, or who has been prevented or discouraged from taking a break to which they are entitled under this policy, should immediately notify Human Resources [or insert name of appropriate company representative or department].

[OPTIONAL: All nonexempt employees must record their meal breaks.]

Guidance for Employers

  • Under Kentucky and federal law, "bona fide" meal breaks (normally 30 minutes or longer) are not work time and need not be compensated for nonexempt employees. Employees must be completely relieved from duty during their meal breaks in order for the meal break to remain unpaid. An employee is not relieved if required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating.
  • Ensure that minor employees are provided uninterrupted 30-minute meal breaks if they work five or more consecutive hours.
  • Consider requiring nonexempt employees to clock in and out for meal breaks to ensure proper payment and compliance with wage and hour laws.
  • Maintain certain records, including records of the time daily meal breaks begin and end.
  • Train minor, nonexempt employees on meal and rest break requirements and the use of the company's timekeeping systems and procedures to accurately record all time worked.

Additional Resources

Meal and Rest Breaks Handbook Statement: Federal

Meal and Rest Break Requirements by State

Child Labor: Kentucky