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Break Laws for Employees under 18 in WV

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  • Break Laws for Employees under 18 in WV

    Hello. I work at a gaming/pizza parlor type place in West Virginia where 90% of the employees are high school students under the age of 18. I was just wondering what the break laws are for West Virginia. Currently, all employees get one unpaid 30 minute break for working five hours or over. Even if we work a 10 and a half hour shift (which happens sometimes on our busy Saturdays), we're only allowed one 30 minute break. During that break, we're not allowed to leave the building, even though we're not currently on the clock, or we're terminated immediately.

    So, in conclusion:
    Are there any laws requiring breaks periodically for employees under 18?
    Are they allowed to tell us that we're not allowed to leave the building when we're not on the clock during our breaks for risk of being fired?


  • #2
    West Virginia appears to default to federal law regarding restrictions on working hours and type of work. Start here:

    By state law, the only requirement is that you be allowed a 20-minute meal break if you work at least a 6-hour shift. There is no legal requirement that you be provided additional breaks if additional hours are worked.

    Regarding leaving the premises, generally speaking, if you can pursue your own activities during the meal period, the fact that the employer requires you to stay on the premises during that period does not automatically make the time compensable. Realistically speaking, 30 minutes is not very much time to get out, go somewhere and get something to eat, eat it, and get back to work. I would imagine they have had problems with this in the past, especially with younger employees, hence the company rule.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      Thank you


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