Rep. Ward’s Rebuttal to HB 1699 – Meal Breaks

Requires employers to grant employees half-hour meal breaks. Does not count “eating while working” as a meal break. Unless the employee works for a continuously-operational facility regulated by environmental permit, the employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purposes of eating a meal. Does NOT mandate a half-hour meal break if: The employee works 5 hours or less in a day; provided that this hour limitation does not apply if there is a collective bargaining agreement that provides for meal breaks; or the employee is scheduled to work no more than 6 hours, and chooses, after continuously working 5.5 hours, to go home early. Imposes a penalty for violation – For every lunch break denied, the employer is liable to the employee an amount that is equal to 1.5 hours of the employee’s regular wage, regardless of whether or not the employee is working overtime.


Excerpt from Capitol TV

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