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Minnesota Rest Periods: What you need to know

Federal wage and hour law does not mandate that employees be given either paid or unpaid rest or meal periods. Whether breaks are required is left up to the states. Minnesota law requires restroom breaks and meal breaks and includes provisions on when these breaks and sleeping time must be compensated.
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U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division regulations do specify when provided work breaks, including meal periods, rest periods, and sleeping time, must be counted as work time subject to federal minimum wage and overtime requirements (29 CFR 785.18 through 785.23).
Breaks of 20 minutes or less. Under Minnesota law, rest periods lasting 20 minutes, including lunch breaks, must be included as hours worked. Breaks of more than 20 minutes are deemed to be on the employee's time and need not be counted toward hours worked (MN Rules Sec. 5200.0120). Employers are required to allow employees adequate time within each four hour period to utilize the nearest convenient rest room (MN Stat. Sec. 177.253).
Off-duty breaks. Periods when the employee is completely relieved of duty and free to leave the premises for a definite period of time, and the period is long enough for the employee to use for the employee's own purposes, are not hours worked (MN Rules Sec. 5200.0120).
Meals. Bona fide meal periods are not hours worked and do not include rest periods such as coffee breaks or time for snacks. An employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purpose of eating regular meals. Ordinarily, 30 minutes or more is long enough for a meal period. (A shorter period may be adequate under special conditions.) The employee is not completely relieved from duty if required to perform ...

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We’ve compiled a list of the 100 most commonly asked questions we have received on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.
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At the end of the report, you will find a list of state resources on wage and hour issues. This report includes practical advice on topics such as:
  • FLSA Coverage: How FLSA regulations apply to all employers and any specific exemptions from the overtime requirements
  • Salary Level: Qualifying for exemptions and nonexempt employees
  • Deductions from Pay: Deducting for violations, disciplinary reasons, sick leave, or personal leave

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