Meal Periods / Rest Breaks FAQ

Which states have laws that require rest periods?

7 States have rest periods requirements: California, Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

California Meal & Rest Periods

Under California state law, many workers are entitled to take uninterrupted half-hour lunch breaks and regular paid ten minute breaks during shifts of 3½ hours or more. California law provides that employees who are not permitted to take the meal and rest periods allowed under California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 5 must be paid one additional hour of pay for each day that the rest periods are not permitted, and one additional hour of pay for each day that the thirty minute meal periods are not taken.

Colorado Meal & Rest Periods

Colorado law requires an employer to give its employee a paid, uninterrupted 30-minute break for every five hours worked. Additionally, each employee is entitled to a 10-minute break for every four hours worked.

Kentucky Meal & Rest Periods

Lunch Periods Employers are required to give employees a reasonable period for lunch as close to the middle of their scheduled work shift as possible but no sooner than 3 hours or longer than 5 hours from when their shift starts. Rest Periods Employees are entitled to a 10 minute paid rest break during each 4 hours worked.

Washington Meal & Rest Periods

A paid rest break of at least 10 minutes is required for each 4 hours worked. The rest period must be provided no later than the end of the 3rd hour of the shift.

If an employee works more than 5 hour in a shift, they must be allowed at least a 30 minute meal period. The meal period cannot start prior to 2 hours into the shift or later than 5 hours into the shift. This meal period does not have to be paid if the employee is relieved of all duties for the entire period.