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Breaks & Meals by State

State Break Requirements Meal Requirements Information
Alabama Not Required for employees 16 or older. Employees age 14–15 require an unpaid 30-minute meal/rest break if working 5 continuous hours. Not Required for employees 16 or older. Employees age 14–15 require an unpaid 30-minute meal/rest break if working 5 continuous hours. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Alaska Not Required for employees 18 or older. Employees age 14–17 require an unpaid 30-minute meal/rest break if working 5 continuous hours. The break must occur after the first hour and a half of work but before the beginning of the last hour of work. Not Required for employees 18 or older. Employees age 14–17 require an unpaid 30-minute meal/rest break if working 5 continuous hours. The break must occur after the first hour and a half of work but before the beginning of the last hour of work. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Arizona Not Required Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Arkansas Not required except for children under the age of 16 employed in the entertainment industry. Not required  except for children under the age of 16 employed in the entertainment industry. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
California Paid 10-minute break every 4 hours.

A rest period is not required for employees whose total daily work time is less than 3.5 hours.
Unpaid 30-minute meal break is required if working more than 5 consecutive hours (more than 6 hours for employees in the motion picture industry in specific situations).

Unless the employee is relieved of all duties during the entire 30-minute meal period and is free to leave the employer’s premises, the meal period must be counted as hours worked and paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay. California law only permits employers to provide an “on duty” meal period when the nature of the work prevents the employee from being relieved of all duty and when by written agreement between the employer and employee an on-the-job meal period is agreed to.
 
Colorado Paid 10-minute break every 4 hours for employers doing business in the retail and service, food and beverage, commercial support services, or health and medical industries. Federal law applies for other industries. Unpaid 30-minute break every 5 hours for employers doing business in the retail and service, food and beverage, commercial support services, or health and medical industries. Federal law applies for other industries. Federal Law Applies for all other industries that are not retail and service, food and beverage, commercial support services, or health and medical industries. Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Connecticut Not Required Unpaid 30-minute meal break for employees working 7.5 or more consecutive hours. Meal break is required after the first 2 hours of work and before the last 2 hours.

The Labor Commissioner shall exempt any employer from the requirements of this section if he finds that:

(1) Requiring compliance would be adverse to public safety.

(2) The duties of a position may only be performed by one employee.

(3) The employer employs less than five employees on a shift at a single place of business provided the exemption shall only apply to the employees on such shift.

(4) The continuous nature of an employer's operations, such as chemical production or research experiments, requires that employees be available to respond to urgent or unusual conditions at all times and such employees are compensated for break and meal periods.
Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Delaware Not Required Unpaid 30-minute meal break for employees 18 or older working 7.5 or more consecutive hours. Meal break is required after the first 2 hours of work and before the last 2 hours. This rule does not apply when:

(1) The employee is a professional employee certified by Delaware’s State Board of Education and employed by a local school board to work directly with children.

(2) There is a collective bargaining agreement or other employer-employee written agreement, which provides otherwise.

Exemptions:

(1) If compliance would adversely affect public safety.

(2) If only one employee may perform the duties of a position.

(3) If an employer has fewer than five employees on a shift at one location (the exception would only apply to that shift).

(4) If the continuous nature of an employer’s operations, such as chemical production or research experiments, requires employees to respond to urgent or unusual conditions at all times and the employees are compensated for their meal breaks.

Where exemptions are allowed, employees must be allowed to eat meals at their workstations or other authorized locations and use rest room facilities as reasonably necessary.

Delaware employers must grant a meal break of at least 30 consecutive minutes to employees under the age of 18 scheduled to work more than 5 hours continuously per day.
Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Florida Not Required Unpaid 30-minute meal break is required for employees under 18 who work for more than 4 hours continuously. Federal law applies for 18 or older. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Georgia Not Required Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Hawaii Not Required Unpaid 30-minute meal break is required for employees 14 or 15 years of age after 5 consecutive hours of work. Federal law applies for employees 16 years or older. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Idaho Not Required Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Illinois Not Required Unpaid 20-minute meal break is required for employees that work 7.5 continuous hours or more. The break must be taken no later than 5 hours after beginning work.

Employees under the age of 16 must have a 30-minute meal break if they are to work more than 5 consecutive hours.
Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Indiana Employers must provide either one or two rest periods totaling 30 minutes to employees under the age of 18 if they are working 6 or more consecutive hours. Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Iowa Not Required Unpaid meal break of 30 minutes is required for employees under the age of 16 scheduled to work 5 or more consecutive hours. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Kansas Not Required Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Kentucky Paid 10-minute breaks are required for every 4 hours of work. Employers must provide a reasonable period for a meal break no sooner than the 3rd hour and no later than the 5th hour of work unless mutually agreed upon with the employee to some other arrangement. "Reasonable" is not defined by the law. The meal period does not have to be paid as long as the employee is relieved of all duties during the break.  
Louisiana Not Required An unpaid meal break is required for employees under 18 who work for at least 5 consecutive hours. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Maine Not Required Employers must give employees the opportunity to take an unpaid 30-minute rest break after 6 hours worked if 3 or more people are on duty. An employee and employer may negotiate for more or less breaks, but must agree in writing. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Maryland The Healthy Retail Employee Act requires certain employers in the retail industry to provide employees with breaks. The length of the break depends on the duration of the employee’s shift. The length of break requirements are as follows:

(1) Up to 4 consecutive hours no break is required.

(2) Between 4 and 6 consecutive hours requires a 15-minute break.

(3) Between 6 and 8 consecutive hours requires a 30-minute break.

(4) 8 or more consecutive hours requires a 30-minute break plus a 15-minute break every 5 additional consecutive hours.

Federal law applies if paid or unpaid.
Employees under the age of 18 are required a 30-minute break every 5 consecutive hours of work. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Massachusetts Not Required Unpaid 30-minute meal break is required if working more than 6 hours in a calendar day, unless employees work in the following:
(1) Iron works
(2) Glass works
(3) Paper mills
(4) Letterpress establishments
(5) Print works
(6) Bleaching works
(7) Dyeing works
(8) Any other factories, workshops, or mechanical establishments the Attorney General of Massachusetts designates as exempt due to the continuous nature of the process or other special circumstance, so long as it does not result in injury to the affected employees

An employer must compensate an employee at least minimum wage for the 30-minute break if the employee has voluntarily agreed to forgo the break period by (1) working through his or her break or (2) remaining on the premises during the break at the request of the employer even though no work is performed.
Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Michigan Not Required Unpaid 30-minute break is required for employees under 18 who are scheduled to work 5 or more continuous hours. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Minnesota Employer must provide restroom time within each 4 consecutive hours of work. Employer must provide sufficient time to eat a meal. The meal time requirement applies to employees who work 8 or more consecutive hours. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Mississippi Not Required Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Missouri Not Required Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Montana Not Required Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Nebraska Not Required Employers to provide employees in assembling plants, mechanical establishments, and workshops a 30-minute lunch period in each shift of at least 8 hours.  
Nevada Paid 10-minute breaks are required for every 4 hours of work. Employers do not need to provide a break for those working less than 3.5 hours.

Nevada wage and hour regulations explain the break requirement as follows:

(1) One (1) 10-minute rest period if the employee works at least three and a half (3½) continuous hours and less than 7 continuous hours.

(2) Two (2) 10-minute rest periods if the employee works at least seven (7) continuous hours and less than eleven (11) continuous hours.

(3) Three (3) 10-minute rest periods if the employee works at least eleven (11) continuous hours and less than fifteen (15) continuous hours.

(4) Four (4) 10-minute rest periods if the employee works at least fifteen (15) continuous hours and less than nineteen (19) continuous hours.
Unpaid 30-minute meal break is required when working a continuous period of 8 hours. Exceptions to the meal and break requirements include:

(1) Situations where only 1 person is employed at a particular place of employment.

(2) Employees are included within the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement.

(3) Exemptions are granted by the Labor Commission after the employer has shown sufficient evidence that business necessity precludes providing such benefits.
 
New Hampshire Not Required Employers cannot require that an employee work more than 5 consecutive hours of work. The employee must be paid if they are eating and working at the same time. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
New Jersey Not Required Unpaid 30-minute breaks are required for employees under 18 for every 5 consecutive hours of work. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
New Mexico Not Required Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
New York Not Required Factory employees are entitled to a 1-hour break between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Mercantile employees and all other employees covered by New York’s labor laws are entitled to a 30-minute break between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

If an employee’s shift starts before 11 a.m. and ends after 7 p.m., the employee is entitled to an additional 20-minute break between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

If an employee works a shift of more than 6 hours that starts between 1 p.m. and 6 a.m., the employee is entitled to a meal break in the middle of the shift. Factory employees get a 1-hour break; mercantile and other employees covered by the labor laws get a 45-minute break.
Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
North Carolina Not Required Unpaid 30-minute break is required for employees 14 or 15 years of age if scheduled to work over 5 hours. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
North Dakota Not Required Unpaid 30-minute meal break is required if employees are scheduled to work more than 5 hours and 2 or more employees are on duty. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Ohio Not Required Unpaid 30-minute meal break is required for employees under 18 years old working 5 or more consecutive hours. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Oklahoma Not Required Unpaid 30-minute break is required for employees under the age of 16 who work more than 5 consecutive hours. Employers must also provide employees under 16 years of age a 1-hour cumulative rest period for each 8 consecutive hours worked. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Oregon Paid 10-minute breaks are required for every 4 hours worked.  Unpaid 30-minute break is required for employees who work at least 6 hours. An employer may provide a shorter meal break of at least 20 minutes if employer can show that this is the industry standard or custom; however, the shorter break must be paid.

Employees who work a shift of 7 hours or less must have the break occur between the 2nd and 5th hours of the shift. Employees working more than 7 hours must have the break take place between the 3rd and 6th hours of the shift.
 
Pennsylvania Not Required Unpaid 30-minute breaks are required for employees between 14 and 17 years of age working 5 or more consecutive hours. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Rhode Island Not Required Unpaid 20-minute meal break is required during a 6-hour shift, and a 30-minute meal is required during an 8-hour shift. This does not include health care facilities or companies employing fewer than three employees at one site during a shift. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
South Carolina Not Required Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
South Dakota Not Required Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Tennessee Not Required Unpaid 30-minute break is required for employees who work at least 6 consecutive hours, except in workplace environments where the nature of the business provides for ample opportunity to rest or take an appropriate break. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Texas Not Required Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Utah Paid 10-minute breaks every 3 hours is required for employees under 18 years of age. Unpaid 30-minute meal break is required for those under 18 years of age who are scheduled to work more than 5 hours. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Vermont Employer must provide its employees with "reasonable opportunity" to eat and use toilet facilities in order to protect the health and hygiene of the employees. Employer must provide its employees with "reasonable opportunity" to eat and use toilet facilities in order to protect the health and hygiene of the employees. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Virginia Not Required Unpaid 30-minute meal break is required for employees 14 or 15 years of age who are scheduled to work for more than 5 hours continuously.  Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Washington Paid 10-minute breaks every 4 hours worked are required. Employees cannot be required to work more than 3 hours without a rest break. Unpaid 30-minute meal breaks are required for employees who work more than 5 consecutive hours. The break must be taken not less than 2 hours, nor more than 5 hours, from the beginning of their shift. The time must be paid if the employees are on duty or are required to be at a site for the employer's benefit.

Employees who work 3 or more hours longer than their regular workday are entitled to an additional 30-minute break before or during their overtime.

Agricultural employees are entitled to a 30-minute meal break if working more than 5 hours and an additional 30-minute break if working 11 or more hours in 1 day.
 
West Virginia Not Required Unpaid 20-minute meal breaks are required when scheduled for 6 or more hours.

Employers must provide employees under 16 years of age a lunch period of at least 30 minutes if scheduled to work more than 5 hours.
Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Wisconsin Not Required Unpaid 30-minute, duty-free meal break is required for those under 18 years of age when working a shift greater than 6 hours in duration. Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
Wyoming Not Required Not Required Federal Law Applies: Breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are required to be paid and are considered part of the work day. A meal break usually 30 minutes or longer may be unpaid so long as employees are not doing any work.
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