If You Work An 8 Hour Shift ,Is It The Law That You Get A Break And/or Lunch?


22 Answers

lesley louis Profile
lesley louis answered
It is certainly the law that you get a break after a certain amount of hours.  This is a statutory minimum.

Most workers are entitled to daily and weekly rest breaks, as well as rest breaks during the course of the working day.

There are some workers who have no automatic legal entitlement to a rest break.  They are:

Couriers, taxi drivers, rail workers, offshore workers and members of the police or armed forces.  Workers in these occupations may be entitled to compensatory rest breaks in line with Health and Safety guidelines.  This means that you can take the break at a later time.

There are also special rules about rest breaks for lorry or coach drivers.  These come under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transport and can be verified through that agency, but in general:

If you are aged 18 or over, and your normal working day is at least 6 hours, you have the right to an uninterrupted rest break of at least 20 minutes.

Your contract of employment may well be more generous than this and it is worth checking in any case.  The law does not say when a break should be taken but it does say that the break should not be taken at the beginning or the end of a shift and you are entitled to spend your break away from your workstation.

Lunch breaks count as rest breaks and if you’re a shift worker, your rest break should be in addition to any breaks you get in between shifts.
John Profile
John answered
It also depends on whether or not you signed any kind of contract for this job . That stated you  do not take breaks during a 8 hour period. But as the other blurters have said the usual breaks are 2- 15 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch break. If you think you are being mistreated then you need to report it. Since you do not say where(what state or country) this is taking place there is not much more I can suggest.
Robyn Rothman Profile
Robyn Rothman answered
FLSA, Federal Labor Standards Act doesn't require employers to provide breaks or lunch.  You should check your state's labor laws.  What kind of work do you do?  Not getting breaks or lunch for an eight-hour day is pretty harsh.
neil b Profile
neil b answered
If you live in the u.k, as I think you do by the picture, I' m 90%sure that you should get at least 30mins break every 4 half hours worked, I had this problem with my works some time ago, about 3years, I'm sure that was the outcome, don't quote me on that, I am quite sure....or something very very near that at least.
Lynne Dwyer Profile
Lynne Dwyer answered
In most states.... A 15 minute break after first 3 hours. A half hour (lunch) break after 4 1/2 or 5 hours. Unions have their hours. You can check with your state gov. Under "wage & compensation laws"
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
If you are working in WA, read the faq "What are the break and meal period requirements for adult workers?" provided by WA Labor & Industries for answers that are applicable to workers under the regulation of L&I (most employees in WA). The page is at: .

L&I investigates complaints alleging violations of labor laws. Filing a complaint with L&I is free.

When must a worker get rest breaks?
• Workers must be allowed a paid rest break of at least 10 minutes for each 4 hours worked.
• The rest period must be allowed no later than the end of the third hour of the shift.
• When must a worker get a meal break?

If more than 5 hours are worked in a shift:
• Workers must be allowed at least a 30 minute meal period.
• Workers must be at least two hours into the shift before the meal time can start.
• The meal time cannot start more than five hours after the beginning of the shift.

What is the rest period requirement?

Employees shall be allowed a rest period of not less than ten minutes on the employer’s time in each four hours of working time. The rest break must be allowed no later than the end of the third working hour. Employees may not waive their right to a rest period.

What is a rest period?

The term "rest period" means to stop work duties, exertions, or activities for personal rest and relaxation. Rest periods are considered hours worked. Nothing in this regulation prohibits an employer from requiring employees to remain on the premises during their rest periods. The term "on the employer's time" is considered to mean that the employer is responsible for paying the employee for the time spent on a rest period.

When must rest periods be scheduled?

The rest period of time must be scheduled as near as possible to the midpoint of the four hours of working time. No employee may be required to work more than three consecutive hours without a rest period.

When may meal periods be unpaid?

Meal periods are not considered hours of work and may always be unpaid as long as employees are completely relieved from duty and receive 30 minutes of uninterrupted mealtime.
It is not necessary that an employee be permitted to leave the premises if he/she is otherwise completely free from duties during the meal period. In such a case, payment of the meal period is not required; however, employees must be completely relieved from duty and free to spend their meal period on the premises as they please. These situations must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if the employee is on the premises in the in the interest of the employer. If so, the employee is “on duty” during the meal period and must be paid.
Employees who remain on the premises during their meal period on their own initiative and are completely free from duty are not required to be paid when they keep their pager, cell phone, or radio on if they are under no obligation to respond to the pager or cell phone or to return to work. The circumstances in determining when employees carrying cell phones, pagers, radios, etc., are subject to payment of wages must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Pat Merrifield Profile
Pat Merrifield answered
Depends on your state; if you're in a state such as Idaho where the 'right to work' debacle was foisted on the voting public you have no rights whatsoever other than the right to not join a union. One day, and I hope it's real soon that the public will wake up to the fact our lawmakers work for money only and the general public certainly does not supply the money the business sector does.
Lee Profile
Lee answered
Where I live, it is. You must have at least half an hour break. If you work over 14 hours, then you must have 8 hours break before resuming work.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
There are many variables to determine your answer. For example, I have heard we are entitled to a break every 4 hours. However, I have also heard,
"...your employer does not have to provide lunch or coffee breaks. Also, your employer does not have to pay you for lunch breaks that you are given.
However, your state might have mandatory meal breaks. The requirements vary, but many employees are guaranteed a 30 minute meal period per shift. To qualify, your shift will generally need to be 6 hours, and maybe even 8 hours long."

You will need to contact the wages commission specific to where you are located.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Yes. You are entitled to a paid 10 minute break after 2 and a half
hours work, and at 4 hours work you are entitled to a half hour unpaid
meal break. If you are still working 2 hours after the meal break, you
are entitled to an additional paid 10 minute break. These breaks are
mandatory as per Labor Laws in California. I'm not sure about any other
state but I'd guess they're all pretty similar.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I work everyday in a big company, but we do not get lunch breaks at all but get paid for the whole day. We are allowed to sit down and eat when we have time. Otherwise we are on our feet constantly, I don't think its Right and it should get further looked into as everyone in the company complains but doesnt do anything about it? What should I do?
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I suppose working for eight hours without a break is completely not acceptable even work regularisation policies deffer from country to country at times state to state. For more information if you live in the west, the European law that was enacted in 1993)The EC Working Time directive (93/104/EC) requires Member States to ensure that national rules make it unlawful for an employer to require workers to work more than an average of 48 hours a week. It also contains provisions re shift work, night work, rest breaks and minimum holiday entitlement. Hope this can help. GOOD LUCK.
Micaela Beena Profile
Micaela Beena answered
It's not right but I don't think against the law speak to your boss about that they can't have you working without a break and if your boss says no you quit because it's not worth
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
By law you need to get 1 hour break. I work for a law firm. And I get my full hour and so the rest of the people I know.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I work an 8 hour shift at a supermarket check out and I only get a 30 minuet break, usually 5,1/2  to 6 hours into the shift.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
In california the company is required to give a 30 miniute lunch and two ten minute breaks during an eight hour shift
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I work 7.5 hours a day without a break or sit down don't have time to eat anything either

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