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. West Virginia has laws pertaining to meal periods, extended duty periods, and nurses.
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). There is additional information and further details on these requirements.
Employees who work 6 or more hours in a day must be allowed to take a 20 minute meal break at a time reasonably designated by the employer. This requirement applies in all situations where employees are not afforded necessary breaks and/or permitted to eat lunch while working.
Where an employee is required to be on duty 24 hours or more, the employer and employee may agree on a meal period and a regularly scheduled sleeping period of not more than 8 hours from hours worked, provided adequate sleeping facilities are furnished by the employer and the employee can usually enjoy an uninterrupted night's sleep. Where no expressed or implied agreement to the contrary is present, the 8 hours of sleeping time and lunch periods constitute hours worked. If the sleeping period is interrupted by a call to duty, the interruption counts as hours worked. The entire period of interruption must be counted if the employee cannot get a reasonable night's sleep (WV Admin. Reg. Sec. 42-8-9.11).
West Virginia law requires that a nurse who works 12 or more consecutive hours be allowed at ...