Determine If an Employee Must Be Paid for Meal Breaks

Key Points

  • Federal law does not require an employer to provide meal breaks, but many state laws do.
  • An employee must be paid for time spent in meal breaks, unless certain conditions are met.
  • For a meal break to be unpaid, it usually must last at least 30 minutes. During the meal break, the employee must be completely relieved from duty and free to move about the premises.

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