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Ohio Labor Laws on Breaks & Lunches

    • Break timestreet cafe image by jsw from

      Federal labor laws do not require that employers give their employees lunch breaks. In Ohio, the state labor laws only regulate lunch breaks for employees under 18--- namely that employers must give those underage employees a lunch break of at least 30 minutes if they have worked five hours or more. As neither federal nor state laws regulate lunch breaks for employees over 18, it is up to the employer to provide specific hours and work times.

    Understanding Your Federal Rights

    • Ohio employees are covered under several Federal regulations. While federal law does not require breaks, it does mandate that breaks lasting less than 20 minutes must be paid.

    Defining a Federal Meal Period

    • By federal standards, a true meal break lasts 30 minutes or more and is unpaid. However, the worker must be completely free of duties and uninterrupted, otherwise the break must be a paid break. If the employee is still required to do anything, including menial tasks like answering the phone, the break must be paid.

    Other Federal Rights

    • It's important to note that while federal law doesn't require lunch breaks, it does have regulations regarding employee pay during waiting times, sleeping and traveling.

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