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Code of Federal Regulations Pertaining to ESA

Title 29  



Chapter V  

Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor



Part 785  

Hours Worked




Subpart C  

Application of Principles

29 CFR 785.19 - Meal.

  • Section Number: 785.19
  • Section Name: Meal.

    (a) Bona fide meal periods. Bona fide meal periods are not worktime. 
fide meal periods do not include coffee breaks or time for snacks. These 
are rest periods. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for 
the purposes of eating regular meals. Ordinarily 30 minutes or more is 
long enough for a bona fide meal period. A shorter period may be long 
enough under special conditions. The employee is not relieved if he is 
required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while 
eating. For example, an office employee who is required to eat at his 
desk or a factory worker who is required to be at his machine is working 
while eating. (Culkin v. Glenn L. Martin, Nebraska Co., 97 F. Supp. 661 
(D. Neb. 1951), aff'd 197 F. 2d 981 (C.A. 8, 1952), cert. denied 344 
U.S. 888 (1952); Thompson v. Stock & Sons, Inc., 93 F. Supp. 213 (E.D. 
Mich 1950), aff'd 194 F. 2d 493 (C.A. 6, 1952); Biggs v. Joshua Hendy 
Corp., 183 F. 2d 515 (C. A. 9, 1950), 187 F. 2d 447 (C.A. 9, 1951); 
Walling v. Dunbar Transfer & Storage Co., 3 W.H. Cases 284; 7 Labor 
Cases para. 61.565 (W.D. Tenn. 1943); Lofton v. Seneca Coal and Coke 
Co., 2 W.H. Cases 669; 6 Labor Cases para. 61,271 (N.D. Okla. 1942); 
aff'd 136 F. 2d 359 (C.A. 10, 1943); cert. denied 320 U.S. 772 (1943); 
Mitchell v. Tampa Cigar Co., 36 Labor Cases para. 65, 198, 14 W.H. Cases 
38 (S.D. Fla. 1959); Douglass v. Hurwitz Co., 145 F. Supp. 29, 13 W.H. 
Cases (E.D. Pa. 1956))
    (b) Where no permission to leave premises. It is not necessary that 
an employee be permitted to leave the premises if he is otherwise 
completely freed from duties during the meal period.
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