Ohio Labor Laws on Breaks & Lunches

By Madison Garcia
Men on a coffee break

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Ohio employees don't have it as good as some other states when it comes to meals and breaks. The Buckeye state does not have any rules of its own that demand employers offer either. When they do, they usually follow federal guidelines.

Employees Under 18

If you're under 18, employers must give you at least a 30 minute meal break if you work more than five consecutive hours in one day. There is no rule that says the employer has to pay you during these break times.

Short Breaks

Ohio complies with the federal break guidelines in the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA considers breaks part of a normal work day. So, if the employer allows short breaks at all, generally between five and 15 minutes, it has to pay the employees during that time.

Meal Time

Breaks of 30 minutes or more are regarded as meal breaks by the FLSA. Those are typically worked into a employee's schedule as unpaid time. The guidelines also say the employer has to honor that break by not asking the employer to work during that time. So, if the employee ends up doing anything job related that cuts into the meal time, the employer has to pay for that..

General Breaks

On a larger scale, Ohio also doesn't require employers offer vacation breaks, holidays or sick days to employees. Employers can force an employee to forfeit unused vacation days only if it's a written policy detailed in an employee handbook.

About the Author

Based in San Diego, Calif., Madison Garcia is a writer specializing in business topics. Garcia received her Master of Science in accountancy from San Diego State University.

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