In Tips
VOLUME 15 | September 2018


Are Some Employee Breaks Compensable?
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued an opinion letter determining whether non-exempt employees’ 15-minute rest breaks were compensable time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The employees at issue required 15-minute rest breaks every hour, as certified by their health care provider, due to a serious health condition. The DOL determined:
  • Short rest breaks up to 20 minutes that benefit the employer by promoting efficiency and creating re-energized employees are typically compensable.
  • Short breaks that primarily benefit the employee are not compensable. Specifically, when an employee’s breaks differ from ordinary rest breaks or are “solely due to the needs of the employee’s health condition,” the breaks primarily benefit the employee.
  • The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) further confirms that employees are not entitled to compensation for FMLA-protected breaks.

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