Employment Lawyers Fighting for Workers’ Rights in New Jersey, Pennsylvania & Throughout the United States

Pennsylvania Law on Meal and Rest Breaks

New Jersey State Labor Laws

If you receive meal or rest breaks at your job in Pennsylvania, you might not know that employees do not have the right to take breaks or to eat a meal during the workday under federal law. If employers do choose to give their employees short breaks during the day, the employees must be paid for them. However, the employers do not have to give the breaks if they don’t want to do so. If you are unclear about the meal and rest break rules, the attorneys at Swartz Swidler may be able to explain them to you.

Some states have laws of their own that mandate that employees receive meal or rest breaks. However, in Pennsylvania, only farmworkers must receive breaks.

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Schedule an appointment today.
Call (856) 685-7420 or

Paid and unpaid breaks under federal law

Federal law requires that employers pay their employees for all of the hours that they have worked. This includes the time that the employees spend working during periods that their employers have designated as breaks. For example, if a secretary takes her lunch at her desk and works through lunch, the employer must pay her for her time. Employers must also pay their employees for short breaks that last from five to 20 minutes.

Employers are not required to pay for meal breaks that are bona fide, however. For instance, if employees are given 30-minute lunch breaks and complete no work during that time, their employers do not have to pay them for that time regardless if they eat their meals onsite or offsite.

Work breaks in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania does not require that most employers give their employees breaks. However, seasonal farmworkers must be given breaks. They must be given a 30-minute break after they have worked for five hours. The employers do not have to pay for this time.

Contact Swartz Swidler

If your employer doesn’t give you meal or rest breaks, no laws have been broken unless you are a seasonal farmworker. However, if your employer has failed to pay you for the time that you spent on breaks that were provided to you such as requiring you to eat at your desk while working but not paying you for your lunch break, you may have a legal wage and hour claim. Contact Swartz Swidler to learn more.

Most Frequently Asked Question: Do I Have A Case?

While it is true that every case is different, The law is pretty clear in most cases. The best way to determine if you have a case is to contact one of our attorneys. For more information check out the FAQ below or visit our FAQ Page

Most Frequently Asked Question:
Do I Have A Case?

While it is true that every case is different, The law is pretty clear in most cases. The best way to determine if you have a case is contact one of our attorneys. For more information on a just a few scenarios checkout the flip box FAQ below or visit our FAQ Page.

Our Locations

Cherry Hill Headquarters

1101 Kings Hwy N
Suite 402
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Phone: (856) 685-7420
Fax: (856) 685-7417

Philadelphia Satellite Office

123 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: (215) 995-2733

Our Locations

Cherry Hill Headquarters

1101 Kings Hwy N
Suite 402
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Phone: (856) 685-7420
Fax: (856) 685-7417

Philadelphia Satellite Office

123 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: (215) 995-2733