Meal and Rest Breaks

​​​​You may not employ an employee for a work period of more than five hours per day without providing him/her with a 30-minute unpaid meal break. You owe the employee one hour of pay if the employee is unable to take one or more meal breaks.

You must also give nonexempt employees an opportunity to take a 10-minute paid rest break for every four hours worked, or major fraction thereof.

If one or more meal breaks or one or more rest breaks are not given, you owe the employee one hour of pay for any missed meal breaks and any missed rest breaks for a maximum of two hours per day.

The additional pay for a missed meal or rest break must be included in the employee's next paycheck.

In addition, an employer with employees who work outside cannot require an employee to work during any “recovery period” taken to avoid heat-related illness. Rest and recovery periods are paid breaks and count as hours worked. For more information, see Heat Illness.