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Unpaid breaks and rest periods are essential for employees, especially those working long hours. Employees who take regular breaks and rest periods tend to be happier and more productive. Employers, therefore, must ensure that their employees take frequent breaks and rest periods. The law requires employers to provide employees with unpaid breaks and rest periods.

What Are Unpaid Breaks?

Unpaid breaks are periods of uninterrupted time that an employee takes during their work hours, where the employee is not performing any work-related duties. The length of an unpaid break varies depending on the employer, the state, and the industry. Typically, unpaid breaks can range between fifteen to thirty minutes and may be scheduled or unscheduled. Employers are not legally required to provide their employees with paid breaks, but they must allow employees to take unpaid breaks while on duty.

What Are Rest Periods?

Rest periods are paid breaks given to employees to reduce fatigue and restore energy during their shifts. Unlike unpaid breaks, rest periods are required by law; employers must provide their staff with a predetermined rest period according to state labor laws. Rest periods usually last ten to fifteen minutes and are counted as hours worked.

Who Is Eligible for Unpaid Breaks and Rest Periods?

All employees working more than six hours are entitled to at least one rest period and at least one unpaid meal break. Employees who work for more than 10 hours per day are eligible for two rest periods and one unpaid meal period. Employers cannot force employees to work through their rest periods or unpaid meal breaks. Employers also cannot penalize their employees for taking these breaks.

What Are the Consequences of Not Providing Unpaid Breaks and Rest Periods?

Employers who fail to provide their employees with unpaid breaks and rest periods may be subject to fines and other sanctions. Employers who violate these rules risk exposing their employees to burnout, stress, and fatigue, resulting in decreased work performance, low employee engagement, and absenteeism.

Meal and Rest Break Violation Lawyers

In conclusion, unpaid breaks and rest periods are crucial for employee well-being and productivity. Employers have specific obligations to ensure these breaks are provided appropriately. Josephson Dunlap is here to support you in your journey towards a fair and just resolution. Contact us at (888) 742-7242 to get started.