Employee Wage and Hour Rights FAQ

Can my employer require me to clock out when I take a break?

Your right to be paid for break time depends on state law, the length of your break, and what you do with your break time.

A small number of states require employers to provide paid breaks -- typically, ten minutes of paid break time for every four hours worked. If your state doesn't require paid breaks, then your employer doesn't have to pay you for this time unless:

  • your break lasts for 20 minutes or less, or
  • you have to work through your break.

For more information, see Nolo's article Meal and Rest Breaks: Your Rights as an Employee.

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