Must An Employer Provide For Rest Breaks?

Employees under 18 years of age must receive at least a 30­minute duty free meal period when working a shift greater than 6 hours in duration. Breaks of shorter duration are not required. If an employer provides breaks of less than 30 consecutive minutes in duration, the break time will be counted as work time. Wisconsin law does not require that employers provide brief rest periods, coffee breaks or meal periods for adult employees, although the Department recommends, in Chapter DWD 274.02(2) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, that employers do so. Employers are encouraged, but not required, to provide breaks of at least 30 minutes in duration at times reasonably close to the usual meal period. Such matters are to be determined directly between the employer and the employee.

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