How Many Breaks Are Employees Allowed in a Seven-Hour Shift?

The laws that establish breaks for employees in a seven-hour shift are determined separately by each state. Some states allow a 30-minute break for any shift over six hours, while others allow a 20-minute break for shifts over six or seven hours.

Meal breaks are usually not considered work time, and employers don't have to pay employees for their meal breaks. However, the employer must completely relieve the employee from work duties while he is on break and ensure that all employees receive the full break. Also, employers have the option to pay their employees for their meal break periods.