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Breaks at Work (FAQs)

Authored By: Employment Law Task Force


Does my employer have to give me breaks or rest periods during the day?  +

No, there is no law in Louisiana making your employer give breaks or rest periods during the work day. Many employers do let employees take rest breaks during the morning or afternoon, but this is not required by law.

If my employer gives me a break, do I have the right to be paid for that time? +

It depends. If your employer gives you a break to benefit his business, or you have to work during a break time, she is required to pay you for the break time. Some employers pay workers for break time, even when they do not have to by law. Authorized break time is also considered as time worked, for purposes of right to overtime pay.

Courts have been asked to say when a break benefits an employer's business. Courts decide by looking at many factors, including how long the break is, whether the employee has a chance to leave the worksite for personal errands, and whether the break is given because it makes workers more productive, or for other reasons. If you think you should be paid for breaks, you may want to talk with a lawyer.

Is my lunch period a break or rest period? +

Your employer does not usually have to pay you for lunch periods unless you are required to work during lunch. But there may be exceptions to this general rule, depending on your work conditions and work requirements (for example, if you only get a very short time for lunch or have to stay at your desk to answer the telephone).

Last Review and Update: Aug 31, 2009