Wednesday, April 11, 2007

True or False: Maryland Law Does Not Require Employers to Give Breaks to their Adult Employees.

[UPDATE: Starting March 1, 2011, certain retail employee will be entitled to breaks.]

True. According to the Maryland Department of Labor: "There is no law requiring an employer to provide breaks, including lunch breaks, unless the employee is under the age of 18."

But if an employer gives you a "break" you must be completely relieved of your duties for at least twenty minutes. Otherwise you are working and should be compensated for this "break" time. See this post.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a daughter that just turned 18 and started her first job, I am a supervisor for a great company and was told that a half hour break was required after 6 hours of work. My daughter was fired after 2 weeks for asking for a break after working for 7 hours of a 9 hour shift, Maryland NEEDS to mandate breaks NO MATTER what the age it is unfair to make a person work on their feet for long shifts without a break!!

Anonymous said...

My husband works 12 hour shifts operating heavy machinery isn't he entitled to a lunch or dinner break of some sort? Some days he is given a 30-45 min paid lunch break but he can't leave the premisis during this time just in case they need him. Then other days he works straight thru. Isn't this dangerous? Is this even legal? Please help.

James Edward Rubin said...

Sadly, I am aware of no general law requiring breaks. There may be an OSHA standard that applies to your husband's work, but, without knowing more, I cannot point you to anything more specific than www.osha.gov. Does he get paid time and a half for overtime?

lo said...

If a contract states an employee will be given a break or 1/2 hour duty free lunch and is not given such is legal action possible?

lo said...

If the employee contract outlines lunch and break times that are not met is legal action possible?

James Rubin said...

@lo -- give me a call, 301 760 7914