can you sue your job for no breaks

can you sue your job for no breaks

Can You Sue Your Job for No Breaks?

Many workers in the United States wonder if they can sue their employer for no breaks after long days of hard work. While there isn’t an easy answer to this question, there are a few legal considerations that can help you understand your rights and actions you can take if you are not getting the breaks you think you deserve.

Federal Law

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that regulates wages, working hours, and other important labor matters. While the FLSA does not have a specific provision that requires employers to provide breaks, there are certain situations in which breaks are still expected to be provided.

For example, if an employee works more than 6 hours in a day, they are typically eligible to receive a 30 minute meal break. Additionally, the FLSA states that employers must pay employees for breaks of 20 minutes or less. However, there are exceptions to this depending on the specific industry you are employed in and the nature of the job.

State Law

Many state laws provide more stringent requirements for employee breaks or make exceptions for certain industries or types of jobs. California, for instance, is one of the states that has established specific meal and rest break laws.

In California, employers must provide a ten-minute break for any four-hour work period, a thirty-minute break for any five hour work period, and two fifteen-minute breaks for any eight-hour work period. Additionally, these breaks must be paid, and an employer must provide a separate paid ten-minute break for each four additional hours worked beyond the standard eight.

Similarly, Oregon requires that employers provide a meal break of 30 minutes if an employee has worked more than six hours, while Vermont has a law mandating that employees receive paid rest periods if they have worked 3 or more hours.

What to Do If You Are Not Getting Breaks?

If you are not getting the breaks you are entitled to due to a state or federal law, the best option is to file a complaint with the relevant government agency. You may also be able to file a lawsuit against your employer for the back wages you are owed. This could include the wages you would have made during the meal or break period, as well as any additional wages you are due due to missed breaks.


In conclusion, it is possible to sue your job if you are not getting the breaks you think you deserve. While there is no clear answer to the question of whether or not you can sue your job, there are certain state and federal laws that you can use to determine if you are eligible for breaks and how to go about filing a complaint or lawsuit if need be.


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