Meal Periods and Rest Breaks
The FLSA does not require
an employer to provide rest or meal breaks for their employees. If your employer does provide rest breaks for
short amounts of time this time should be considered hours worked. If your employer gives you meal periods, this
time is not considered hours worked if the break lasts at least 30 minutes and
you are completely relieved of all work duties during that time.
Some states do have laws that
require rest breaks and meal periods.
State laws will overrule FLSA requirements on this subject and your
employer must follow them. See your state’s
laws at [(State Overtime Law.com)].
If you are required to stay
on the job site or very close to it and cannot use the time for your own
purposes, you are more than likely “on-call.”
This means that under the FLSA you should be paid for this time as hours
worked. A common example of being
“on-call” is a hospital employee who is required to stay at the hospital but is
allowed to eat, sleep, watch TV or engage in other personal activities. These employees must be paid for the time
they are “on-call.”
If you are on duty for less
than 24 hours, sleep time is not counted as hours worked. But if you are on duty for more than 24 hours
you should be paid for sleep time as hours worked. If your sleep time is interrupted by a call
to work, then this interruption of your sleep must be counted as hours worked.