This blog post discusses the meal breaks and breaks to
express breast milk which an employer in New York State must provide to its adult
employees. For rules limiting the hours of work of minors (that
is, persons less than 18 years of age) in New York, see this author's December 8, 2010 blog post.
Time Permitted For Meals
New York State law requires companies to allow employees
to take certain time off for meals. It is the New York State Department
of Labor's position that these meal break requirements apply to all employees,
including white-collar management staff.
New York requires that every person employed in or in
connection with a factory be allowed at least 60 minutes for "the noon day
meal," popularly known as lunch. N.Y. Labor Law § 162(1).
Employees in establishments other than factories are
allowed at least 30 minutes for the noon day meal. N.Y. Labor Law §
The noon day meal period extends from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00
P.M. An employee who works a shift of more than six hours, which extends
over the noon day meal period, is entitled to at least 30 minutes off within
that period for the meal period. N.Y. Labor Law § 162(2).
Every individual whose working hours or shift begins
before 11:00 A.M. and ends later than 7:00 P.M. is entitled to a break of at
least 20 minutes for dinner between 5:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. N.Y. Labor
Law § 162(3).
Every factory worker employed for a period or shift of
more than six hours beginning between 1:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M. must be allowed
60 minutes for a meal period. Every non-factory worker employed for a
period or shift of more than six hours beginning between 1:00 P.M. and 6:00
A.M. must be allowed 45 minutes for a meal period. For both factory and
non-factory workers, this meal period is to be at a time midway between the
beginning and end of the worker's period or shift. N.Y. Labor Law §
Employers may apply for permission from the Commissioner
of the New York State Department of Labor to fix a shorter time for meal
periods than is stated above. If such a permit is granted, it must be
posted conspicuously in the main entrance of the establishment. N.Y. Labor
Law § 162(5).
An employer may, without applying for permission from the
Commissioner, set a meal period of not less than 30 minutes as long as there is
no indication of hardship to employees. Meal periods ranging from 20
minutes to 29 minutes require a special permit, and are allowed only in special
or unusual cases.
Right Of Nursing Mothers To Have Breaks To
Express Breast Milk In The Workplace
Businesses in New York must provide reasonable unpaid
break time or permit an employee to use paid break time or meal time each day
to allow an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to
three years after childbirth. N.Y. Labor Law § 206-c.
The company must make reasonable efforts to provide a
room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, where an employee
can express breast milk in privacy. N.Y. Labor Law § 206-c.
New York prohibits employers from discriminating against an
employee who expresses breast milk in the workplace. N.Y. Labor Law §
Call the Law Offices of David S. Rich, LLC at (212)
209-3972 to speak with a knowledgeable labor and employment lawyer about ensuring that your company complies with overtime pay and
other wage and hour laws, or to retain a skilled overtime attorney to defend your company in unpaid overtime lawsuits or other
wage and hour litigation.
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