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. Virginia has no provisions requiring meal or rest breaks, except for minors.
U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division regulations 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).
Minors. Employers may not let minors work continuously for more than 5 hours without at least a 30-minute lunch period. Any break of less than 30 minutes is considered work time.
Last reviewed on November 13, 2017.