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Break Periods in New York

Breaks for meals are unpaid unless there is an agreement with the employee that provides otherwise.  New York law requires meal breaks to be scheduled midway between the beginning and end of the shift as follows:

  • Factory employees
  • Day shift–1 hour for the noon meal
  • 6 hour shift or longer which begins between 1 p.m.  and 6 a.m.–60 minute meal break
  • Mercantile or other types of employees
  • 6 hour shift or longer which includes the time frame between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.—½ hour meal break
  • Work shift begins before 11 a.m. and ends after 7 p.m.–an additional 20 minute meal break is required between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • 6 hour shift or longer which begins between 1 p.m. and 6 a.m.–45 minute meal break
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