Does My Employer Have to Give Me Breaks From Work?


Your entitlement to meal and rest breaks depends on state law.



Although many employees get meal and rest breaks during the workday, these breaks aren’t legally required everywhere. Federal law doesn’t require employers to give employees time off to eat or rest during their shifts. Employees are entitled to these breaks only if their state requires it. 

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) doesn’t require employers to give breaks, but it does regulate when employers have to pay for breaks they choose to give. To find out when you are entitled to be paid, and to learn your state's rules on meal and rest breaks, select it from the list below. 



Jurisdictional relevance: ST

There are versions of this article for each State.

Select Your State


Free Overtime Case Evaluation For Your Zip Code

Do you have questions about whether you're getting the wages you're entitled to in your state? Use the form below to connect with a lawyer through the Nolo / Martindale network of overtime lawyers.
SPONSORED FORM - Nolo/Martindale Attorney Network