Wages and Hours
Work Hours and
Other Pay Issues
and Meal Periods
|| Frequently Asked Questions
The Fair Labor Standards Act
(FLSA) does not require employees be given meal or rest breaks. However, if employers do offer
short breaks (lasting about five to 20 minutes), federal law considers
these short breaks time for which employees must be compensated. Bona fide meal periods
(typically lasting at least 30 minutes), serve a different purpose than short rest
or snack breaks and, thus, are generally not time for which employees must be
compensated. The FLSA is administered and enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the Employment Standards Administration.
- State Labor Offices - When the state laws differ from the federal FLSA, an employer must
comply with the standard most protective to employees.
- Employment Standards Administration (ESA)
Wage and Hour Division
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243)
- For questions on other DOL laws,
please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL. Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.
*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol
for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller
will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance
inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.