Most employees take short breaks throughout the day, and research has shown that workers are much more productive when they do. It is important to know what the law says about how many breaks you can take, and whether or not you will be paid for them.
The Fair Labor Standards Act, FLSA, is a piece of federal legislation that requires employees to be paid for all breaks shorter than 20 minutes. Most states have laws that stipulate a 30 minute meal break for any shift lasting longer than 7.5 hours. This break must be taken at least 2 hours after starting the shift and before 2 hours from the end of it. The meal break is not to be used to leave work 30 minutes early. Meal breaks are typically unpaid, though there are some exceptions.
In addition to the 30 minute meal break, most states also allow for two 15-minute “coffee” breaks throughout the day, which, according to the FLSA, must be paid.
It is important to note that Texas is a state that has no legal requirements for employers to give workers breaks during the workday. Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, and Utah are a few of the other states that also do not have break laws. A Texas employer is not required by law to give workers breaks, regardless of the shift length. Of course, most employers do give breaks, both paid and unpaid, because it makes their workers happier and more productive.
If you have any questions about breaks or labor law in general, contact the Austin labor attorneys of The Melton Law Firm at 512-330-0017 today for a consultation.