Federal wage and hour law does not require that employees be provided either paid or unpaid rest or meal periods. Whether breaks are required is left up to the states. Pennsylvania has provisions requiring meal periods for minors.
U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division regulations do specify when work breaks that are provided, 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).
No minor under the age of 18 may work for more than 5 hours continuously without a 30-minute lunch period. No period of less than 30 minutes will be deemed to interrupt a continuous period of work (PA Stat. Ti. 43 Sec. 46).
Last reviewed on January 22, 2016.