How Often Are You Entitled to Take a Break at Work?


Quick Answer

Employees may or may not be entitled to a break at work depending on where they live. Break periods and mealtimes are not mandated by federal law in the United States, as of 2014. Some states have implemented laws requiring that workers be given certain break periods.

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How Often Are You Entitled to Take a Break at Work?
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Full Answer

Many states require that employers give employees a 30-minute break for each 8-hour shift. These states include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington; although, some require the break even for six-hour shifts. West Virginia only mandates a 20-minute break, while Colorado requires a 30-minute break every 5 hours.

New York requires one hour for lunch breaks in most cases, and Vermont mandates that employees be given reasonable breaks. Most other states do not require that employers give breaks to their employees at all.

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