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Minnesota Labor Laws Breaks

Minnesota Labor Laws Breaks

Minnesota Labor Laws and Breaks: A Comprehensive Guide


Minnesota is a state that boasts of an array of labor laws put in place to protect workers’ rights. Among these laws, the state has strict regulations on breaks, which must be adhered to. The laws set forth by the Minnesota government are aimed at ensuring the welfare of the employee and promoting health, safety, and well-being in the workplace.

This article delves deep into Minnesota labor laws and breaks, detailing all the intricacies and touchpoints to help employees and employers better understand their roles and obligations.

Employee Breaks

According to Minnesota labor laws, employers are required to provide breaks to all employees, whether full-time or part-time, as long as they work eight or more hours per day. The state also has provisions for employees who work less than eight hours per shift. Although these provisions don’t require that the worker be given a break, there are still parameters that must be adhered to.

For instance, employers cannot require an employee to work for more than six hours without giving them a break of at least ten minutes. If the worker continues to work beyond the six hours, another break of similar duration must be given.

The determination of whether an employer is required to give a break to employees is dependent on the total hours worked in a shift or a day. In Minnesota, the state considers a work shift as eight consecutive hours. Thus, any shift that goes beyond eight hours will attract an extra break of at least thirty minutes.

Similarly, the state requires that employees be given a break of at least thirty minutes after they have worked for five consecutive hours for shifts exceeding eight hours. The allocated break must be continuous, and the worker must have the freedom to leave the work premises.

However, the law is lax on employees working less than eight hours a day. This means that the employer is not necessarily obligated to provide a break for workers who put in less than eight hours of work, although it’s recommended. The break’s duration and frequency for workers who fall under this category are left to the discretion of the employer.

Paid Breaks

Minnesota labor laws don’t mandate that breaks be paid. Thus, it’s up to the employer to decide whether to pay the worker during their break. If an employer decides to provide a paid break to employees, the time should be included in the total worked hours, meaning the worker will get a higher wage for the day.

If an employer doesn’t want to pay for breaks, the worker is allowed to engage in any personal activity they desire for the allocated break. It’s also important to note that if an employer decides to give breaks to employees, this does not extend an employee’s workday. The worker must still adhere to the agreed-upon working timeframe.

Scheduling Breaks

Employers are responsible for scheduling breaks depending on the shift length and the number of workers on duty at the time. When scheduling breaks, employers consider various factors, such as the employees’ duties, peak workloads, and individual preferences.

The Minnesota labor law allows employees to take breaks split into different sections. However, the duration of the split breaks should be at least ten minutes, and the intervals between the breaks should be less than two hours.

On the other hand, employees are not allowed to waive their rights to take breaks. In such cases, employers may be liable for penalties and damages caused to the worker.

Consequences of Not Providing Breaks

Employers who fail to provide breaks to their employees risk facing penalties and legal actions from the state or the aggrieved worker. For instance, if an employer doesn’t give employees the mandated breaks, they will be required to compensate the employee with one additional hour of pay for the shift.

Also, employers who violate break laws may be liable for damages in a court of law or be required to pay a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation.

Ultimately, not providing breaks to employees is likely to create dissatisfaction among employees, leading to low motivation and productivity. In contrast, employers who adhere to break regulations enjoy a motivated and productive workforce, leading to high-quality output and increased profits.


Minnesota labor laws are strict on breaks set out in the employer-employee relationship. Employees are entitled to breaks, whether part-time or full-time, and the employer is mandated to schedule and compensate for the breaks at their discretion.

Employers who adhere to these regulations create a safe and productive work environment that promotes employee growth and satisfaction, leading to better output quality and increased profits. In summary, all employers in Minnesota must prioritize providing breaks to their employees to ensure compliance with the state’s labor laws and promote a productive and healthy workforce.

Understanding the Minnesota Labor Laws for Breaks

It’s important to know the specific Minnesota labor laws for breaks to understand what you’re dealing with when considering any job in the state. Why? Because it’s a brand-new world out there. And it’s easy to have your rights violated. There are scams. There are pitfalls.

A General Idea on Minnesota Labor Laws for Breaks

1. The Basics on a Legal Workweek

2. Understanding Overtime

3. The Deal With Breaks During Work

4.  Nursing Mothers

5. School Visits

Of course, there’s much more to keep in mind. But for starters, you can’t start any better than here when it comes to Minnesota labor laws for breaks.

Starting with….

The Workweek

What is a workweek? By legal definition according to Minnesota labor laws for breaks, a “workweek” has no bearing on whether or not an employee is full or part time. Under the rules of MN labor laws for breaks, a workweek generally is fixed and regular with a recurring period of 168 hours and seven consecutive 24-hour periods.

So when seeing any job description or application regarding “workweeks,” pay close attention to what any application says about a standard workweek. For full-time, a workweek generally can be 48 hours a week. And your typical shift per day for full-time work would be 8 hours.


According to the Minnesota Statutes 177.25, overtime’s calculated legally when a workweek goes past 48 hours of work. Once the hours go past that, the hourly wage would be 1 ½ times the regular rate of pay.

Now here’s a crucial question: can an employer fire an employee if refusing overtime? ….Yes. By law, the employer has authority to set the work schedule, whatever it may be. If it does require overtime, the employee must abide by it. An advance notice isn’t even required by the employer on behalf of the employee. It’s perfectly within the rights of any employer under MN labor laws for breaks.

The MN Labor Laws for Breaks: Meals

This is what the Minnesota labor law for breaks requires: restroom time and meal time. Those are the key words for MN labor laws for breaks to keep in mind. By Minnesota labor law for breaks, every employer must provide restroom time every four hours of work. Once an employee works eight or more hours, meal time must be provided. In addition, the Minnesota labor law for breaks states that any break that is less than 20 minutes must still be counted as workable hours.

Can Nursing Mothers Take Breaks for Breastfeeding Under MN Labor Laws for Breaks?

Even mothers can take breaks provided by the employer for the purpose of expelling breast milk for child(ren). The Minnesota labor law for breaks even requires an employer to provide a place for a nursing mother to do what she needs to do – and that place cannot be simply a toilet stall.

What About Time Off for School Visits?

Most definitely. By Minnesota labor law for breaks, employees are allowed to have up to 16 hours of unpaid leave for the purpose of:

1. School Conferences

2. Classroom Activities

3. Child Care

4. Early Childhood Program

Additionally, an employee can utilize vacation time for the purpose of these visits.

The More You Know, the Better

Labor Law keeps Corporate America going. So know this: it’s the best advice to know the best you can about the laws that keep the economy thriving.