Meal and Rest Break Lawyers in Columbus, Ohio

Employment and labor laws can often be complex, leaving employees with a number of questions about certain things — including whether or not they are entitled to meal and rest breaks while at work. While federal law does not specifically require lunch or coffee breaks, certain types of breaks are considered compensable under federal law.

As an employee in Ohio, you may not be aware of the finer details of whether or not you should be paid for certain breaks. Meal and rest breaks, if considered compensable under federal or state law, are common wage violations. Under federal law, any rest that an employer gives an employee that is 20 minutes or less should be compensated.

If you believe that your employer is withholding wages owed to you from short breaks, a meal and rest break violations attorney may be able to help. Here at The Friedmann Firm, our team of employment and labor lawyers are well-versed in both state and federal laws. We speak with employees every day who are facing wage violation issues and who have questions about their rights as employees.

You can connect with us over the phone or online to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We will analyze the details of your situation to help determine if you have grounds for a case and educate you on your rights as an employee. 

Meal and Rest Breaks for Employees

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) website, federal law does not require coffee or lunch breaks for employees. However, for employers who do offer short breaks that typically last from 5 to 20 minutes, federal law considers these breaks as compensable work hours. This means that these short breaks should be included in the total hours worked and considered when determining if an employee has worked overtime.

Any time added onto these short breaks that are considered to be “unauthorized extensions of authorized work breaks” do not need to be counted as time worked.

You may be wondering if Ohio has any relevant meal or rest laws in addition to federal law.

Other than specific requirements for employees who are 17 and younger though, there are no Ohio state laws that require employers to offer meal breaks. 

What is the Meal Break Law in Ohio 2023?

Many employers allow small breaks to their employees for a variety of reasons including:

  • A matter of policy: Some workplaces may provide breaks as a workplace policy in your employee handbook.
  • To help build a satisfactory workplace culture.
  • Recognizing that meal breaks can be beneficial and important to an employee’s health.

In terms of your employer allowing meal breaks, these will typically be unpaid. If you are given a meal break, it is important to remember that you are entitled to a fully uninterrupted meal break. You can expect these meal breaks to be more than 30 minutes.

However, under Ohio law, employees over the age of 18 are not required to be offered a meal break of any kind.

For employees under the age of 18, employers are required to allow them a rest period of at least 30 minutes if they are working “more than five consecutive hours.

If you have further questions relating to your rights to meal or rest breaks as an Ohio employee, please reach out to our team of meal and rest break lawyers in Columbus. We are well-versed in Ohio meal and rest break laws, and we can help answer any questions you may have. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sue my employer for not giving me rest breaks in Ohio?

In most cases, you cannot sue your employer for not giving you rest breaks in Ohio. However, if you are facing unpaid wages from small breaks that are afforded to you by your employer per federal law, then you may have grounds to seek legal action.

Oftentimes, employees may find that they have not been fully or properly compensated for the short breaks that their employer allows. In these instances, you may be facing wage and hour issues. Our team of meal & rest break violations attorneys can help determine if your employer has been withholding wages that you are owed.

Who is exempt from Ohio meal break and rest break laws?

Employees over the age of 18 are not required to have meal or rest breaks in Ohio.

Employees under the age of 18 are required by federal law to have a rest period of at least 30 minutes anytime they are working more than five consecutive hours.

Are you entitled to meal and rest breaks?

According to federal and state law, no employee over the age of 18 is entitled to meal and rest breaks. However, for employers who allow for short breaks as detailed above, you are entitled to be compensated for those breaks.

In some cases, an employer may request that employees clock out for short breaks — such as using the bathroom or for taking a 10-minute break to sit down. If this happens to you, your employer may be violating federal or Ohio meal and rest break laws by not compensating you.

Connect with a meal & rest break violations attorney if you believe you are facing unpaid short breaks. We can look over the details and provide you with skilled representation, should we take your case on.

Turn to Our Reliable Meal and Rest Break Violations Attorneys

If you believe you are facing meal and rest break violations at work, it is critical to connect with a meal and rest break lawyer in Columbus, Ohio. All employees deserve to be paid fairly, and we are here to ensure that you are.

Since our founding in 2012, The Friedmann Firm team has been ready to advise and represent employees in Columbus. We offer free and confidential consultations on all employment and labor law cases.

To schedule an appointment, please reach out by phone at 614-610-9755 or online at The Friedmann Firm.