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Are workers entitled to a break when working an 8-hour shift?

Answer

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act does not require employers to provide paid or unpaid breaks for workers. Some states provide their own rules governing worker meal and rest breaks, according to the Department of Labor website.

States that require a meal break as of 2014 include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

According to the Nolo Network, in 2014 only eight states require rest breaks. Those states are California, Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Special meal and rest break requirements exist in some states for workers who are under the age of 18.

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