Maine 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. Maine law has a provision requiring rest breaks.
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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).
Employees must be given a 30-minute break after working for 6 consecutive hours (ME Rev. Stat. Tit. 26 Sec. 601).
Exceptions. The rest break requirement does not apply if there is a collective bargaining agreement or written employer-employee agreement that provides otherwise. Nor does it apply to the following types of employees and situations:
• Places of employment where three or fewer employees are on duty at any one time
• Situations in which the nature of the work allows employees frequent breaks during their workdays
• Emergencies that endanger life, property, public safety, or health
Last reviewed on January 22, 2016.

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