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New York Rest Periods: What you need to know

Federal wage and hour law does not require that employees be given either paid or unpaid rest or meal periods. Whether breaks are required is left up to the states. New York law requires that certain workers be provided meal and 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).
Every person employed in connection with a factory must be provided with a 60-minute break for a midday meal between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Other workers who work at least 6 hours must get 30 minutes off between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for the midday meal (NY Labor Law Sec. 162).
Employees whose shifts begin before 11 a.m. must be allowed an additional meal period of at least 20 minutes between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Note: A meal period of up to 20 minutes may be compensable under federal law.
Factory employees who work more than 6 hours starting between 1 p.m. and 6 a.m. must be allowed to take a 60-minute meal break midway between the beginning and end of their shift. Other employees who work these hours must be provided with a 45-minute meal break.
A legal day's work for street surface and elevated railroad workers consists of 10 consecutive hours, including a 30-minute dinner period.
Unionized workplaces may provide for different meal breaks through collective bargaining.
Shorter meal breaks may be permitted with the approval of the commissioner of labor. The permit must be in writing and be conspicuously ...

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