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elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses - FLSA Section 14(c) Advisor

Rest Periods and Breaks and Hours Worked Under the FLSA

Although the FLSA does not require rest periods or breaks, it is customary in industry for employees to be given such breaks, which last generally between five and 20 minutes. Such breaks are considered to be primarily for the benefit of the employer since they tend to promote the efficiency of the employee and are considered to be working time.

Whether or not a worker with a disability receiving special minimum wages must be paid for such break periods depends on the method of compensation. Hourly paid workers must be compensated for breaks at their normal hourly wage. But no additional compensation is due workers with disabilities paid piece rates provided the piece rate was properly established and includes a sufficient allowance for personal time, fatigue and unavoidable delays (PF&D). The PF&D allowance also takes into account the time workers spend on traditional breaks or rest periods.

For more information on PF&D allowances, read Fact Sheet No. 39D, Incorporating Personal Time, Fatigue and Delay (PF&D) Allowances When Determining Piece Rates to be Paid Workers with Disabilities Receiving Special Minimum Wages under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

For more information about rest periods and hours worked, please visit the FLSA Hours Worked Advisor.

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FLSA Section 14(c) Advisor | Wage and Hour Division