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Breaks and Meal Periods

Is my employer required to give me breaks?

Under 18

Yes. If you are under 18 years old, your employer must provide you with a 30-minute duty-free meal period for every six consecutive hours of work. Other breaks, including breaks of shorter duration are not required but may be offered by your employer.

Over 18

No. If you are 18 years old or older, your employer is not required to give you breaks or meal periods. We encourage employers to provide lunch breaks of at least 30 minutes at a time reasonably close to the usual meal period, however, the decision to offer breaks or meal periods is determined directly between you and your employer.

Is my break paid time?

Breaks less than 30 minutes long

Yes. If your authorized break is less than 30 consecutive minutes long, it is counted as work time and must be paid by your employer.

Breaks 30 minutes or longer

Yes and No. If your break is more than 30 consecutive minutes long but you are "on duty" during your break, meaning you are not relieved on your work duties or free to leave the premises, your break is counted as work time and must be paid by your employer. However, if you are relieved of your work duties and free to leave the premises, breaks of more than 30 consecutive minutes are not counted as work time and therefore are not paid by your employer.

Please note that your employer may not deduct from your wages for authorized breaks of less than 30 consecutive minutes.

Can my employer make me take a break?

Yes. Employers can schedule employees as they see fit.

For more information