These short breaks are considered to be compensable work hours according to federal laws, which means that your employer cannot deduct this time off your paycheck.
Everyone needs a break every once in a while. If you’re a hard-working employee in Hawaii, you might be wondering whether or not your employer is legally obliged to give you a break during your workday. How long are your breaks supposed to be? Are your breaks supposed to be paid or unpaid? And perhaps most importantly, what can you do if your employer isn’t giving you enough breaks? All of these questions are best left answered by a legal professional.
Fortunately, there are many attorneys in Honolulu who specialize in employment law. These attorneys can listen carefully to your unique situation during an initial consultation and recommend the best course of action. With their assistance, you can confidently gather evidence, navigate the legal process, and negotiate with your employer for a settlement.
Hawaii’s Only Laws Regarding Breaks
Hawaii’s only laws that pertain to breaks and meals involve minors. According to Hawaii’s Child Labor Laws, employees aged 14 or 15 must be given a 30-minute meal break if they have worked at least five hours. For all other employees, it is very important to understand that your employer is not legally obligated to give you any breaks whatsoever. Theoretically, they could require you to work nonstop for eight hours without a single break.
What About Federal Laws?
Hawaii is also subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act, which is a federal set of laws that applies to every single state, regardless of their state laws. So what do federal laws say about breaks? Once again, there is no law that actually requires employers to give their employees any breaks whatsoever. However, federal law does state that if employers do give their employees breaks, they must compensate them for these breaks under certain circumstances.
A common type of break in Hawaii is often referred to as a “coffee break.” These breaks are usually no longer than 20 minutes, and they can be as short as five minutes. These short breaks are considered to be compensable work hours according to federal laws, which means that your employer cannot deduct this time off your paycheck. On the other hand, meal periods (otherwise known as “lunch breaks”) typically last at least 30 minutes, and these breaks are not compensable work hours. In other words, your lunch break will be deducted from your paycheck, and this is legal.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you’ve been searching the Hawaii area for a qualified, experienced employment law attorney, there are many committed legal professionals who are ready to assist you. With their help, you can hold your employer accountable for a wide range of possible misconduct, including not providing you with proper breaks. Book your consultation today, and you can go over all of your legal options with a qualified attorney.