Minimum Length of Meal Period Required under State Law for Adult Employees in Private Sector 1 (2023)

California 4

½ hour, if work is for more than 5 hours per day, except when workday will be completed in 6 hours or less and there is mutual employer/employee consent to waive meal period. On-duty meal period counted as time worked and permitted only when nature of work prevents relief from all duties and there is written agreement between parties. Employee may revoke agreement at any time.

An employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than 10 hours per day without providing the employee with a second meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee only if the first meal period was not waived.

The Industrial Welfare Commission may adopt working condition orders permitting a meal period to start after 6 hours of work if the commission determines that the order is consistent with the health and welfare of the affected employees.

Administratively issued Industrial Welfare Commission Orders, and California Labor Code section 512.

Uniform application to industries under 14 Orders, including agriculture and private household employment.

Exempts employees in the wholesale baking industry who are subject to an Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order and who are covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement that provides for a 35-hour workweek consisting of five 7-hour days, payment of 1 and ½ times the regular rate of pay for time worked in excess of 7 hours per day, and a rest period of not less than 10 minutes every 2 hours.

Exceptions apply to motion picture or broadcasting industries pursuant to Labor Code sections 512 and 226.7, and Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders 11 and 12.


½ hour if work shift exceeds 5 consecutive hours. On-duty meal period counted as time worked and permitted when nature of work prevents relief from all duties.

Administratively issued Wage Order for 4 industries

Applicable to retail and service, food and beverage, commercial support service, and health and medical industries. Exempts administrative, executive/supervisor, professional, outside sales employees, elected officials and their staff, companions, casual babysitters, and domestic employees employed by households or family members to perform duties in private residences, property managers, interstate drivers, driver helpers, loaders or mechanics of motor carriers, taxi cab drivers, and bona fide volunteers. Also exempt are: students employed by sororities, fraternities, college clubs, or dormitories, and students employed in a work experience study program and employees working in laundries of charitable institutions which pay no wages to workers and inmates, or patient workers who work in institutional laundries.


½ hour at some time after first 2 hours and before last 2 hours for employees who work 7½ consecutive hours or more.


Excludes certain professional employees certified by the State Board of Education, and any employer who provides 30 or more total minutes of paid rest or meal periods within each 7½ hour work period.

Meal period requirement does not alter or impair collective bargaining agreement in effect on 7/1/90, or prevent a different schedule by written employer/employee agreement.

Labor Commissioner is directed to exempt by regulation any employer on a finding that compliance would be adverse to public safety, or that duties of a position can be performed only by one employee, or in continuous operations under specified conditions, or that employer employs less than 5 employees on a shift at a single place of business provided the exemption applies only to employees on such shift.


½ hour, at some time, after first 2 hours and before the last 2 hours, for employees who work 7½ consecutive hours or more.


Excludes certain professional employees certified by the State Board of Education, and workplaces covered by a collective bargaining agreement or other written employer/employee agreement providing otherwise. Exemptions may also be granted where compliance would adversely affect public safety; only one employee may perform the duties of a position, an employer has fewer than five employees on a shift at a single place of business; or where the continuous nature of an employer's operations requires employees to respond to urgent or unusual conditions at all times and the employees are compensated for their meal break periods.

An administrative penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation may be assessed an employer who discharges or discriminates against an employee for complaining or providing information to the Delaware Department of Labor pursuant to a violation of this requirement.


At least 20 minutes, no later than 5 hours after the start of the work period, to employees who work 7 ½ continuous hours or more.

Each hotel room attendant -- those persons who clean or put guest rooms in order in a hotel or other establishment licensed for transient occupancy -- shall receive one 30-minute meal period in each workday in which they work at least seven hours.


Excludes employees whose meal periods are established by collective bargaining.

Different requirements apply to employees who monitor individuals with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness and certain private employees licensed under the Emergency Medical Services Systems Act.

Hotel room attendant rules apply only to an establishment located in a county with a population greater than three million.

Hotel room attendants may not be required to work during a break period. Break area must be provided with adequate seating and tables in a clean and comfortable environment. Clean drinking water must be provided without charge. Employer must keep complete and accurate records of the break periods.


Reasonable off-duty period, ordinarily ½ hour but shorter period permitted under special conditions, between 3rd and 5th hour of work. Not counted as time worked. Coffee breaks and snack time not to be included in meal period.

Statute and regulation

Excludes employers subject to Federal Railway Labor Act. Meal period requirement does not negate collective bargaining agreement or mutual agreement between employer and employee.


30 minutes after 6 consecutive hours, except in cases of emergency.


Not applicable to places of employment where there are fewer than 3 employees on duty at any one time and the nature of the work allows those employees frequent paid breaks during the workday. Not applicable if collective bargaining or other written employer-employee agreement provides otherwise.


15 minute break for 4-6 consecutive hours or a 30 minute break for more than 6 consecutive hours. If an employee works 8 or more consecutive hours, the employer must provide a 30-minute break and an additional 15 minute break for every additional 4 consecutive hours worked.


Applies to retail establishments.

To clarify, a retail establishment is an employer whose primary purpose is to sell goods to a consumer with the consumer present in the retail establishment at the time of sale, and does not include restaurant or wholesalers. This law applies only to employers who are engaged in a retail business (or who own retail establishment franchises with the same trade name) with 50 or more retail employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.

Employees who work in certain retail establishments are entitled to a non-working shift break depending upon the number of hours worked.


Workers have a right to at least a 30-minute meal break or each 6 hours worked in a calendar day. During their meal break, workers must be free of all duties and free to leave the workplace.


Excludes iron works, glass works, paper mills, letter press establishments, print works, and bleaching or dyeing works.

The Attorney General may grant exemption to a factory or workshop or mechanical establishment, if in discretion of the Attorney General it is necessary by reason of continuous process or special circumstance, including collective bargaining agreement.


Sufficient unpaid time for employees who work 8 consecutive hours or more. Rest periods of less than 20 minutes may not be deducted from total hours worked.


May exclude certain employees exempt from the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act.

Meal period requirement does not prohibit different provisions under collective bargaining agreement.


½ hour, off premises, for lunch in each 8-hour shift.


Applicable to assembly plant, workshop, or mechanical establishment, unless employee is covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement or other written agreement between an employer and employee.


½ hour, if work is for 8 continuous hours.


Applicable to employers of two or more employees.

Excludes employees covered by collective bargaining agreement

Labor Commissioner may grant exemption on employer evidence of business necessity.

New Hampshire

½ hour, after 5 consecutive hours, unless feasible for employee to eat while working and is permitted to do so by employer.


Applicable to any employer.

New York

1 hour noon-day period



Labor Commissioner may give written permission for shorter meal period under each standard.

30 minute noonday period for employees who work shifts of more than 6 hours that extend over the noon day meal period.


All other establishments and occupations covered by the Labor Law.

An additional 20 minutes between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. for those employed on a shift starting before 11 a.m. and continuing after 7 p.m.


All industries and occupations.

1 hour in factories, 45 minutes in other establishments, midway in shift, for those employed more than a 6-hour period starting between 1 p.m. and 6 a.m.


See basic standard

North Dakota

½ hour, if desired, on each shift exceeding 5 hours.

Administratively issued Minimum Wage and Work Conditions Order.

Applicable when two or more employees are on duty. Collective bargaining agreement takes precedence over meal period requirement.

Employees who are completely relieved of their duties do not have to be paid.


½ hour, with relief from all duty, for each work period of 6 to 8 hours, between 2nd and 5th hour for work period of 7 hours or less and between 3rd and 6th hour for work period over 7 hours; or, less than ½ hour but not less than 20 minutes, with pay, with relief from all duty, where employer can show that such a paid meal period is industry practice or custom; or, where employer can show that nature of work prevents relief from all duty, an eating period with pay while on duty for each period of 6 to 8 hours.


Applicable to every employer, except employees covered by collective bargaining agreement.

In absence of regularly scheduled meal periods, it is sufficient compliance when employer can show that the employee has, in fact, received the time specified (permitted only where employer can show that ordinary nature of the work prevents employer from establishing and maintaining a regularly scheduled meal period).

Rhode Island

All employees are entitled to a 20 minute mealtime within a six hour work shift, and a 30 minute mealtime within an eight hour work shift.


Uniform application to all employees except to an employer of a licensed health care facility or an employer who employs less than three people on any shift at the worksite.


½ hour for employees scheduled to work 6 consecutive hours or more. The meal break shall not be scheduled during or before the first hour of scheduled work activity.


Applicable to every employer, except in workplace environments that by their nature of business provide ample opportunity to take an appropriate meal break.

An employer may waive the right to a thirty-minute unpaid meal break pursuant to the voluntary written request of an employee who is principally employed in the service of food or beverages to customers and who, in the course of such employment, receives tips and reports the tips to the employer.


Employees are to be given "reasonable opportunities" during work periods to eat and use toilet facilities in order to protect the health and hygiene of the employee.

21V.S.A. Section 304

Universal application


½ hour, if work period is more than 5 consecutive hours, to be given not less than 2 hours nor more than 5 hours from beginning of shift. Counted as worktime if employee is required to remain on duty on premises or at a prescribed worksite. Additional ½ hour, before or during overtime, for employees working 3 or more hours beyond regular workday.

Administrative regulation

Excludes newspaper vendor or carrier, domestic or casual labor around private residence, sheltered workshop, and agricultural labor. 2

Rules for construction trade employees may be superseded by a collective bargaining agreement covering such employees if the terms of the agreement specifically require meal periods and prescribe requirements concerning them.

Director of Labor and Industries may grant variance for good cause, upon employer application.

West Virginia

20 minutes for employees who work 6 hours or more in a workday.


Applicable to every employer. Meal period is required where employees are not afforded necessary breaks and/or permitted to eat lunch while working.


½ hour, after 5 hours, except when workday will be completed in 6 hours or less and there is mutual employer/employee consent to waive meal period. Not considered time worked unless nature of work prevents relief from duty.


Excludes agriculture where fewer than 10 are employed, domestic employment, and fishing industry, among others.

Puerto Rico

1 hour, if work period is longer than 5 consecutive hours, to begin after end of 2nd but before beginning of 6th consecutive hour worked, except when workday will be completed in 6 hours or less, meal period may be waived.
An employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than 10 hours per day without providing the employee with a second meal period, except that if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived if the first meal period was not waived.

Time and a half pay required for work during meal hour or fraction thereof, except any employee entitled to a higher rate prior to 1/26/17 may continue to receive that higher rate.


Excludes, among others, administrators, executives, professionals, travel agents, labor union officials or organizers, certain drivers, domestic service employees, public sector employment, and certain employees covered by collective bargaining agreements.

By written agreement of the employer/employee, meal period may be shortened to not less than 30 minutes, and to not less than 20 minutes for croupiers, nurses, security guards, and anyone else authorized by the Puerto Rico Secretary of Labor. Such agreements remain valid indefinitely, and neither party may withdraw consent, without the consent of the other, until 1 year after agreements’ effectiveness.


Minimum Length of Meal Period Required under State Law for Adult Employees in Private Sector 1? ›

Neither the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) nor Georgia law require breaks or meal periods be given to workers. However, many employers do provide breaks and meal periods. Breaks of short duration (from 5 to 20 minutes) are common.

Is a 30-minute lunch required by law in Florida? ›

Many employers voluntarily offer meal breaks in recognition that it is important for their employee's health and productivity to be given time to eat. There is, however, no legal requirement to provide a workday meal break in Florida, except for employees age 17 or younger.

Can a company deduct 30 minutes from your day if you don t take a lunch? ›

It is perfectly legal to automatically deduct meal breaks from a worker's clocked hours. But you run the risk that workers who end up working during some (or all) of their break will not be paid for all their work, because 30 minutes have automatically been deducted.

What is the meal period law in California? ›

Meal Breaks

Nonexempt California employees must be given a meal or lunch break for a minimum of 30 minutes for shifts longer than five hours. This break is unpaid, uninterrupted, and must begin before the end of your fifth hour of work. This break can be waived if your work day isn't longer than 6 hours.

Are 15-minute breaks required by law in Pennsylvania? ›

Employers are not required to give breaks for employees 18 and over. If your employer allows breaks, and they last less than 20 minutes, you must be paid for the break.

Do you get a 15-minute break for working 4 hours in Florida? ›

Florida's labor laws don't require any employers to offer a specific number of breaks. You can develop a company-specific policy for productivity reasons. Most employers offer an unpaid lunch break for an eight-hour shift and a paid 15-minute break every four hours.

Can I work 6 hours without a lunch break in Florida? ›

According to Florida break laws, employers aren't required to offer a meal or rest breaks, either paid or unpaid, to their employees. In other words, employers can decide whether or not their employees will have some time off during their work hours for lunch or rest.

Can a business write off lunch for employees? ›

Expenses for food and beverages provided on the business premises primarily for the benefit of employees are 50% deductible as long as the meal comes from a restaurant.

Can a business write off lunch? ›

Business meals can be deducted only when the taxpayer or an employee is present at the meal along with a current or potential client, business contact, or consultant. Meals for guests, such as spouses, are not deductible.

Can you write off lunch for employees? ›

The deduction for unreimbursed non-entertainment-related business meals is generally subject to a 50% limitation. You generally can't deduct meal expenses unless you (or your employee) are present at the furnishing of the food or beverages and such expense is not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances.

Can you take a 45 minute lunch in California? ›

Each meal break must be uninterrupted and duty-free for at least 30 minutes duration. Employees can spend 30 minutes of meal breaks on their personal business, such as meals, errands or anything they choose.

Can I take a 30-minute lunch in California? ›

Under California law, non-exempt employees are entitled to one unpaid 30-minute meal break, and two paid 10-minute rest breaks, during a typical 8-hour shift. Employees must receive their off-duty meal breaks before the end of the fifth hour of work.

What is the 512 meal break rule in California? ›

First, California Labor Code section 512 generally provides that employees who work over 10 hours are entitled to two 30-minute meal periods. However, employees can waive their second meal period if they work no more than 12 hours.

How long can you work without a lunch in Pennsylvania? ›

Pennsylvania Law on Work Breaks

These employers must give employees a 30-minute break after five hours of work, during which employees must be relieved of all duties. This time may be unpaid. All other Pennsylvania employers have no obligation to provide either meal or rest breaks.

Are lunches required in PA? ›

Meal Breaks in Pennsylvania

Many employers voluntarily offer meal breaks to improve employees' productivity and improve their job satisfaction. However, there is no legal requirement to provide a workday meal break in Pennsylvania, except for employees between the ages of 14 and 17 and for seasonal farmworkers.

Is it mandatory to take a 10 minute break in California? ›

California employment law requires employers to give non-exempt employees (which means “hourly” employees) one 10-minute rest break for every four hours of work. This break is paid and must be “uninterrupted” – meaning the boss can't ask the employee to do any work during the break.

Can I skip my lunch break and leave early Florida? ›

Florida Law Doesn't Require Meal or Rest Breaks

Florida hasn't followed suit, however. Employers in Florida must follow the federal rules explained above. In other words, although breaks are not required, employers must pay employees for time they spend working and for shorter breaks during the day.

What are Florida labor laws? ›

A bill signed on June 12, 2023, specifies that employees who are eligible for the federal minimum wage under the FLSA are eligible for the Florida state minimum wage. The minimum wage will increase to $12 per hour on September 30, 2023. By 2026, the minimum wage in Florida will rise to $15 per hour.

Can an employer automatically deduct lunch breaks Florida? ›

If you are an hourly employee in Florida, you may be wondering whether its is legal for your employer to automatically deduct breaks from your paycheck. The short answer is yes, but there are certain limitations under federal law that makes this practice unlawful.

Is it illegal to break more than 3 dishes a day in Florida? ›

Be careful of clumsy dishwashing in the state of Florida—you're not allowed to break more than three dishes per day or chip the edges of more than four cups or saucers, according to the law.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Duane Harber

Last Updated: 28/11/2023

Views: 5803

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duane Harber

Birthday: 1999-10-17

Address: Apt. 404 9899 Magnolia Roads, Port Royceville, ID 78186

Phone: +186911129794335

Job: Human Hospitality Planner

Hobby: Listening to music, Orienteering, Knapping, Dance, Mountain biking, Fishing, Pottery

Introduction: My name is Duane Harber, I am a modern, clever, handsome, fair, agreeable, inexpensive, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.