Non-exempt employees may not work longer than 5 hours without at least a 30-minute meal break, except that if the total work period per day is no more than 6 hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employee and the supervisor.
The meal break may be longer than 30 minutes, but it may not be less, and must be off-duty, meaning that no work is performed. If a non-exempt employee works more than 5 hours without at least a 30-minute meal break, unless the meal break has been waived (as provided above), the employee’s department must pay a penalty equal to one hour of regular pay.
The meal break must begin prior to the 6th hour of work. It is strongly advised that all non-exempt employees take their unpaid meal break by the beginning to their 5th hour of work to ensure that meal break is taken. It is the responsibility of the supervisor, to ensure that their employees takes a meal break.
If a non-exempt employee fails to take a meal break as directed by the supervisor (e.g. not a College necessity), the issue may be addressed through disciplinary action, however, the College is still required to pay the missed meal penalty. Employees will not be permitted to waive their meal break, unless that request is put in writing and signed by the employee and supervisor. An employee who has waived their meal break previously, may always request a meal break on a particular work day. An additional meal break may be required for employees working more than 10 hours a day.
Non-exempt employees must take one ten-minute break with pay for every 4-hour block of time worked, or major portion of the block worked. The rest break must be in the middle of the 4-hour work shift if possible. Rest breaks are paid and therefore the employee should not record the break times on the timesheet, or clock in and out for these breaks.
Rest breaks may not be combined into a longer break or with a meal breaks, or used at the beginning or end of shift times in order to arrive late or leave early. The intent of these breaks is to provide a mental and physical break from the employee’s work. If an employee is not permitted to take their break(s), the employee’s department must pay a penalty equal to one hour of regular pay. Employees should be encouraged and always permitted to take their rest breaks. Rest breaks may be scheduled based on the needs of the department or College.
Last updated: 08/16/17