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Lunch and Break Laws Minnesota

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  • Lunch and Break Laws Minnesota

    I have been told by my employer that the law requires all non-exempt employees to take an unpaid lunch hour and it must be away from the office.

    I have done some preliminary research and the only thing I have found is that the employer is required to provide me with a 30 minute meal break (unpaid) and 2 - 15 minute breaks (paid) for an 8 hour period.

    Nothing I have read regarding the law (State or Federal) mentions that I am required to take a lunch. Is that correct?

  • #2
    The US DOL website merely says that you must be allowed a break for each four hour period of work to use the nearest available restroom without specifying how long the break should be.

    It also says that you must be provided sufficient unpaid time for a meal. The US DOL figures 30 minutes for an unpaid meal break.

    Given that state law requires the breaks be allowed, the employer is best off making every affected employee take one.

    I see no reason that they require the lunch be taken off the premises, but there is no legal obstacle to them doing so (by contrast, some states require that a lunch period, required to be taken on the premises, must be paid).
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    • #3
      Mn. state statute: Employers must permit each employee working for eight or more consecutive hours sufficient time to eat a meal. The meal break doesn't have to be paid. Also, employers must allow employees adequate time within each four consecutive hours of work to use the restroom.

      Federal law does not require meal or rest breaks. However, employers that do offer short breaks of 20 min. or less needs to be pd. per fed. law. (considered work time) Unpd. meal periods are usually considered 30 min. or more per fed. law.

      If your employer tells you to take a hour unpd. lunch & away from the office, then you must do so. If you don't, you can be disciplined up to & including being fired. They are the boss - you have to follow their rules.
      Last edited by Betty3; 02-24-2008, 02:09 PM.
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