February 28, 2017
Question:Hi Jennifer,What breaks am I required to give my employees, and do I have to pay them during the time?Thanks!AAnswer: Each state has its own rules on employee breaks and pay requirements. So, we have to be very state specific in our answers. For NY, employees are entitled to a 30-minute lunch break between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for shifts six hours or longer that extend over that period and a 45-minute meal break at the time midway between the beginning and end of the shift for all shifts of more than six hours starting between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Meal breaks are NOT required to be paid. https://www.labor.ny.gov/legal/counsel/pdf/meal-and-rest-periods-frequently-asked-questions.pdf.Also, in NYll workers are entitled to an additional 20-mintue meal break between 5:00pm and 7:00pm for workdays that extend from before 11:00 am to after 7:00pm. https://www.labor.ny.gov/legal/counsel/pdf/meal-and-rest-periods-frequently-asked-questions.pdf In NJ, breaks are dictated by Company policy - meaning - you decide - which is actually pretty surprising since NJ is VERY Strict generally for consumer protections. BREAK PERIODSQ. Are breaks and lunches required by law?A. The mandatory break law only applies to minors under the age of 18 and they must be given a thirty (30) minute meal period after five (5) consecutive hours of work. Company policy dictates break and lunch periods for anyone over the age of 18.http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wagehour/content/wage_and_hour_compliance_faqs.html#q44 Connecticut requires a 30 minute meal for employees working more than 7.5 hours, except small employers (less than 5 on a shift) are excluded. - https://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/wgwkstnd/laws-regs/statute31-51ii.htmlSECTION 31-51ii
Sec. 31-51ii. Meal periods. Exemptions. Regulations.
A. No person shall be required to work for seven and one-half or more consecutive hours without a period of at least thirty consecutive minutes for a meal. Such period shall be given at some time after the first two hours of work and before the last two hours.
B. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to alter or impair the provisions of any collective bargaining agreement in effect on July 1, 1990.
C. 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 or (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. The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to establish the procedures and requirements for the granting of such exemptions.
D. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any professional employee certified by the State Board of Education and employed by a local or regional board of education of any town or regional school district to work directly with children.
E. The provisions of this section shall not prevent any employer and employee from entering into a written agreement providing for a different schedule of meal periods than the schedule required by subsection (a) of this section.
F. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any employer who provides thirty or more total minutes of paid rest or meal periods to employees within each seven and one-half hour work period.
G. Any employer who violates the provisions of this section may be subject to civil penalties in accordance with section 31-69a.