What Rules Does New York Labor Law Have For Meal Breaks?

Meal Break Guidelines Based on NY Labor Law

As an employer, you should know that certain rules exist under New York Labor Law regarding employee meal breaks.

Here are a few frequently asked questions about meal breaks:

How long must a meal break last?

The duration of the meal break varies depending on the line of work. Employers must provide factory workers with a 60-minute lunch break between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and a 60-minute meal break midway between the beginning and end of the shift for all shifts that last more than six hours and that start between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Non-factory workers receive a 30-minute lunch break between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for a six-hour or longer shift. They must receive a 45-minute meal break at the time midway between the beginning and end of the shift for all shifts that are more than six hours between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

All workers must receive an additional 20-minute meal break between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. for workdays with hours worked from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Must an employer pay for meal break time?

Unless the employee is working during the meal break, employers do not have to pay for meal breaks.

How do “brown bag lunches” apply to meal breaks?

When an employee listens to a speaker or presentation during their lunch, they must also be allowed an uninterrupted meal period and should be free to leave their work area during the meal break for other pursuits. If the brown bag lunch is required, then the employer must pay the employee for the time and count it as time worked. The time spent at a brown bag lunch will not count as a meal break.

Do you have other questions about meal breaks?

You can find more information about meal break rules under New York Labor Law.

If you would like to ask our attorneys at Stephen Hans & Associates about NY meal break rules, we are glad to answer your questions. We provide employers with legal assistance for many different types of employment related issues.

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