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Virtual TimeClock ®

The easy way to track breaks & lunches.

State Laws for Lunch & Meal Breaks

This is a summary of the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division* report for states that require a minimum length of meal period under state law for adult employees** in private sector.

C

California
Colorado
Connecticut

D

Delaware

G

Guam

I

Illinois

K

Kentucky

M

Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota

N

Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New York
North Dakota

O

Oregon

P

Puerto Rico

R

Rhode Island

T

Tennessee

V

Vermont

W

Washington
West Virginia

**The following 35 jurisdictions also have separate provisions requiring meal periods specifically for minors (when minors are covered by two provisions, employer must observe the higher standard): Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

Not displayed in table are exemptions for executive, administrative and professional employees, and for outside salespersons. Of the 21 States or other jurisdictions with meal period requirements, 7 States also have rest periods requirements (California, Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington).

California law also exempts construction workers, commercial drivers, private security officers, and employees of utility companies if the employees are covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement which provides for the wages, hours of work, and working conditions of employees, and expressly provides for meal periods for those employees, final and binding arbitration of disputes concerning application of its meal period provisions, premium wage rates for all overtime hours worked, and a regular hourly rate of pay of not less than 30 percent more than the state minimum wage rate.

​Redcort Software Inc. assumes no liability and makes no warranties on or for the information contained on these pages. The information presented is intended for reference only and is neither tax nor legal advice. Consult a professional tax, legal or other advisor to verify this information and determine if and/or how it may apply to your particular situation.

+ In addition to the States with Standards of general application a 30-minute meal period is required for seasonal farm workers after 5 hours in Pennsylvania, and for migrant workers in Wisconsin after 6 hours. In Washington State, although agricultural labor is excluded from the listed requirement of general application, a separate regulation requires a 30-minute meal period after 5 hours in agriculture and an additional 30 minutes for employees working 11 or more hours in a day. In addition to the listed States with mandatory Standards, other provisions appear in two States:

New Mexico. A provision applicable to females and administratively extended to men does not require a meal period, but provides that when a meal period is granted (in industrial, mercantile and certain service industries), it must be at least ½ hour, not counted as time worked.

Wisconsin. By regulation, the recommended standard is ½ hour after 6 consecutive hours' work in factories, mechanical and mercantile establishments and certain service industries, to be given reasonably close to usual meal time or near middle of shift.

*The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division has additional information for any states not listed above. The Wage and Hour Division tries to ensure that this information is accurate but individuals should consult the relevant state labor office for official information.