News & Resources

Meal and Rest Breaks

October 22, 2017

Regular meal and rest breaks are important for employee’s productivity, health and well-being.  A common question employers have is whether or not they have to offer rest breaks and if they do offer breaks are they paid for.  Federal law does not require meal and rest breaks.  Detailed information on Breaks and Meal Periods can be found at the website:

Though the federal law does not require meal or rest breaks, it does indicate that if one is taking a short break (between 5 to 20 minutes and not a meal period) that the time should be considered compensable work hours.  A bona fide meal period (typically lasting 30 or more minutes) does not need to be compensated time.

Do I have to give my employees a break?

Some states have different requirements relating to meal and rest breaks.  SHRM offers a good resource that breaks down all the different state requirements:

In Pennsylvania, breaks and hour limits are required for minors.

If you need assistance with policy and procedure, call us at Loyalhanna, we would be happy to help! 724-672-4300 or