Nevada law requires employers to give breaks for rest, meals, and sleep in certain circumstances. This article describes when these breaks are required and to whom they apply.
What Breaks Are Required for Rest?
Employees who work at least 3.5 hours in a day must be given rest breaks, depending on how many hours they work. Here is how much break time is required:
So as an example, employees who work 9 continuous hours must be given 2 breaks that are 10 minutes long, and also a 30 minute meal break, as described below. These break periods must be in the middle of each work period, insofar as practicable. The shorter rest breaks must also count as hours worked and be paid. Also, an unpaid lunch break doesn’t factor into the number of hours worked. Finally, an employee can agree voluntarily to forego meal and rest breaks.
What Breaks Are Required for Meals?
In Nevada, employers must give any employees who work for a continuous period of 8 hours a meal break of at least 30 minutes long. Of course, employees can also eat during their 10-minute rest periods, if possible.
Are There Any Exceptions to These Rules for Rest and Meal Breaks?
Yes, like most laws, there are exceptions. Employers don’t have to give these breaks if only one person is employed at the place of employment, or if the employee is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Also, the Labor Commissioner can exempt a specific employer or categories of employees from these requirements.
What Breaks Are Required for Sleep?
For sleep breaks, Nevada law only addresses employees who are “on duty at a residential facility” for people in the following categories:
- People with a mental illness;
- People with a physical or intellectual disability;
- The elderly;
- People recovering from alcohol or drug abuse;
- Children in foster care;
- Children in a program to address emotional or behavioral problems.
The law doesn’t require employers to give these employees a rest break though; it simply says that if the employees are required to be on duty for 24 hours or more, then the employer and employee may agree in writing to allow for up to 8 hours of unpaid sleep time, if the employer furnishes adequate sleeping facilities.
Any interruptions in sleep must be counted as hours worked, and if interruptions make the sleep period less than 5 hours, then the employee must be paid for the entire sleeping period.
If your employer is not providing you breaks as required by law, then consider contacting my office for assistance.