Lunch and Break Law Regulations in Nevada (NV)

Recently, I’ve been researching lunch and break laws. You might be interested to know that Nevada is one of 19 states with specific state regulations regarding employee meals and breaks.

Nevada state law requires that for each 8 hours worked, an employee must be provided with a 30 minute meal break. This meal break may be unpaid, but for this to be the case, the worker must be completely relieved of his or her duties. If a worker must continue in any of his or her duties (even small tasks such as answering a phone) it cannot qualify as an unpaid meal break.

State law in Nevada also mandates rest periods for all employees. For each four hour work period (or significant fraction thereof), a worker must be given a ten minute paid rest period. As much as practical, this must be in the middle of each four hour period. If an employee works less than three-and-a-half hours in a given day, he or she does not need to be given a rest break.

The Nevada law does provide for some exceptions the meal and break law. For example, in situations where only one employee is on duty at a given time, the meal and break periods are not required. An exception is also granted for employees that are covered by a collective bargaining agreement which sets forth other standards for employee breaks. Finally, an employer may apply to the State Labor Commissioner for an exemption if it is believed that granting these breaks as written in law is precluded by specific business circumstances.

A thorough presentation of state and federal laws related to lunches and breaks may be found on the Nevada Complete Labor Law Poster. This poster also presents required notices for all areas of both state and federal labor laws.

34 thoughts on “Lunch and Break Law Regulations in Nevada (NV)

  1. I work at a nightclub here in town as security. I’ve been there for over a month. I work 3-4 shifts per week, a minimum 6-8 hours shifts. I have yet to get one ten minute break or a lunch break. What can I do?

  2. I work for a casino that allows its employees a 30 min break on a 6 hr shift. There
    are times that we have to stay on the floor for 5 to 7 hours without a bathroom break or a lunch break. We have repeatably asked our supervisor for a short 10 or 15 minute break and she will not try to get us off the floor. This is a food server position. They will make sure that another department supervisor to come up to give the hostess breaks.

    I feel this is discrimination and favoritism in the work force.

  3. Mary, while this may not be discrimination or favoritism, it may be illegal. OSHA requires employers to allow workers to use the restroom when requested. In some cases, this means waiting a short time to be relieved of duty — but not waiting 5 to 7 hours. Your best bet would be to contact both OSHA and the Nevada Department of Labor. For a more complete discussion of your problem, post a question on http://www.laborlawtalk.com, our sister site. Thanks! Amelia

  4. I work as a cocktail waitress at a hotel and we work 8 to 10 hours without a 30 min break. I get 15 minutes if I’m lucky. And our manager splits our tips and tells us how much we have to tip out for example if I make close to $200 I end up leaving with a little over $100. And if we do work 10 hours we do not get paid, time and a half for overtime. Ever since I started here nothing seemed right. Can you tell me, is this fair? And if not where can I go? and what can I do?

  5. Hi Corina! You’re right, nothing about this job seems right. Nevada requires that almost every employee receive a 30-minute unpaid meal break on a shift of 8 hours or more.

    There is no tipped minimum wage in Nevada, so employees must be paid $6.85 per hour, $5.85 if they have a qualified health insurance plan. They must also be paid overtime when working more than 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week, if the company has revenue over $250,000. (Federal law requires overtime only after 40 hours per week.)

    The tip sharing arrangement may be legal if you are sharing tips with bartenders and other cocktail waitresses. However, if the “house” or manager is taking a cut, it is probably not legal.

    The Nevada Labor Commissioner enforces all these laws. You should probably file a complaint with that office at http://www.laborcommissioner.com. You can also post questions at our sister site, http://www.laborlawtalk.com. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  6. I’m a manager at a major movie theatre chain. Breaks have been a major major issue. Often there is not anyone to cover breaks (meal breaks). Is it illegal for them to say that any downtime we have accumulates toward our breaks and that sometimes we have to clock out for a break and continue to work.

  7. Hi Confused! No. Under Nevada law, employees are entitled to a 30-minute meal break plus a 10-minute rest break for each 3.5 hours worked. Some states permit employers to give several shorter breaks instead of meal breaks, but as far as we can tell, Nevada law does not. It is also illegal under both federal and Nevada law for employees to be required to punch out and continue to work. You should report both to the Nevada Department of Labor. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  8. I consider myself a snacker at my office job. Every two hours I have a small snack, almost like a smoking breaks. haha. I choose to work through lunch in order to make my work day a shorter one.

    I was told by a co-work this was illegeal, that I MUST take a 30 minute break. Is this true? My employeer allows an hour lunch so it’s not a matter of not being offered a lunch break but passing on it. By law can I pass on my lunch break?

  9. Hi Skipper! This is really between you and the employer — your coworker does not get a vote.
    Nevertheless, she is correct. Nevada law requires that an employee who works 8 consecutive hours take a 30-minute meal break. The meal break can be unpaid. (The law also permits two 10-minute rest breaks — these are probably your “snack” breaks. There is no law that employees must be given a smoking break.)
    A number of states that have break laws also permit an employee to waive the break, as long as the employee does so in writing. Nevada law does not contain any specific provision that allows this. So technically, yes, when you skip your lunch break your employer is in violation of the law.
    There is also no law that the employer must permit you to leave early on days when you do not take a lunch break. If you are scheduled from 8:30 to 5:30 with a one-hour unpaid lunch, the employer can require that you remain at work until 5:30 even if you do not take your break.
    However, we will say that if you and your employer are both okay with this arrangement, it is really none of your coworker’s business. Ignore her unless and until your supervisor brings the issue up. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  10. i work for a telemarketing company. we all work the same shift.
    7:30am-5pm
    we get 2 10 minute breaks that are often cut 3-5 minutes short, and a 30 minute lunch.
    also, they keep the wall clock about 4 minutes fast and the clock-in clock on time. and announce “live” as the time on the wall clock.
    they also do not allow us to take our breaks for sometimes a half hour late or do not let us leave at 5pm.
    THEY tell US when we can have our breaks and lunch even though they are on a “schedule.”

    what can i do to make things more fair?
    since we do work 9 hours (plus a half hour lunch), is it fair that we should all have so many restrictions?
    it seems like 30 minutes is so minimal.

    u di appreciate the help!

  11. Hi jessica! Frankly, this sounds pretty fair to us. Nevada employers have the right to schedule employee breaks when they are most convenient for the employer, and to change that schedule at any time.
    There is no need to syncronize the wall clock and timeclock. If the employers is using the wall clock at “live”, that means employees will have to clock in 4 minutes earlier but it also means they will get to clock out 4 minutes earlier. Frankly, we don’t see why that would be a problem. An employer in Nevada or any state can require employees to work overtime, as long as the employees are paid for all the time they work.
    The only issue here is the rest breaks. Under Nevada law, an employee must be given a 10-minute paid rest break in each 4-hour work segment. If you are not getting the breaks, then you need to report that to the Nevada Labor Commission. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~Amelia

  12. I work at a local fast food resturant and the owner of the buisness requires that even if an employee works less than 6 hours they have to take a 10 minute and if they work over 6 hours they must take a 30 minute lunch break. Can my employer force such rules if the shift does not exceed 8 hours?

  13. Hi Peter! Yes, the employer can set whatever break requirements he or she likes, and can discipline or terminate an employee who does not follow them.
    Under Nevada law, an employer MUST give employees certain breaks. However, the law does not prevent the employer from giving additional breaks, and from making those paid or unpaid breaks mandatory for all employees. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  14. I got a question. I work for a casino and Im a little confused on something.
    None of the worker’s are permitted to leave the casino while on our 8 hour shift , We used to get 1 meal a day from the grill but the health dept recently shut that down becouse the break room has carpet and no sink. So from now on we can only have cold plain sandwiches that are Disgusting! I don’t eat them and no one else can eat them at work either. Is there some kind of law that i should know about? Do sandwiches Count as a meal for 8 hour’s? It’s like there trying to make us brown bag to save them money and they underpay the whole staff as is, every non managment position starts at $10 being floor and below in all other dept’s

  15. Hi Jeff! There is no law that any Nevada employer must provide workers with a meal free of charge. The employer cannot legally prepare hot food, because the health department won’t permit it. So it sounds like they are doing the best they can, under the circumstances. We agree that bringing your own lunch is probably a better alternative.
    If you feel the wages are too low, you can certainly look for a better-paying job. But in this economy, don’t quit your current job until you find a new one!HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  16. Hi, recently we have had a change in our mangers at work. With our old managers for a 6 or 7 hour shift we would receive an unpaid 30 lunch and a 15 paid break. With our new manger she just gives us a 30. Which manger had the correct way of giving out breaks

  17. Hi Stephanie! Actually, both managers are more generous than they have to be under Nevada law.
    In Nevada, an employee is entitled to a 10-minute paid rest break for each 3.5 hours worked. Suppose Jane works 7 hours, from 8 am to 3:30 pm with a 30-minute unpaid meal break. Jane is entitled to two 10-minute paid breaks on that shift. If she only worked 6 hours, she would be entitled only to one 10-minute paid break.
    A Nevada employee who works 8 hours or more is entitled to a 30-minute unpaid meal break. So in your case, you are entitled to a 10-minute rest break on a 6 hour shift, and two 10-minute breaks on a 7 hour shift — but no meal break unless you work 8 hours or longer. Because the law does not specify when the breaks must occur, the employer appears to be in compliance. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

    Read more about this at: http://www.laborcommissioner.com/faqs.htm

  18. I was wondering what the penalties are if the manager does not give his or her employees a 30 minute meal break if they worked for more than 6 or 7 hours. If it was a one-time incident, does the manager still get in trouble?

  19. Hi Jamie! Theoretically, the Nevada Labor Commissioner could fine an employer whose employees are denied a break, even for one day. However, it is much more likely that the employer would receive a warning, especially if there was a business necessity for the lapse.

    Whether or not the manager would get into trouble is more a question of company policy rather than employment law. Many companies would discipline a manager who violated a labor law. Others would simply tell him not to do it again. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  20. My employer and I are curious regarding how long you can work before you have to take your 1/2 hour lunch break. I have always been told you cannot work any longer than six hours before you have to take your lunch break. Can you let us know?

  21. Hi Frank! This is not an issue that is covered by state law. Nevada law simply states that an employee who works a shift of 8 continuous hours or more, must be given a meal break of at least 30 minutes. (Several other states that have meal break laws specify the timing, but Nevada leaves that up to the employer. Those states usually require that the employee be given a meal break no later than the 5th hour of work. There is pretty consistent agreement among health professionals that after 5 hours, most people need food.) A Nevada employer can schedule the employees meal breaks at the employers convenience. Suppose Juanita works from 6 am until 3 pm daily. Her employer could send her on break at 7am or at 2 pm, or anytime in between, and still be abiding by the Nevada law.
    The one thing the Nevada employer cannot do (even if the employee requests it) is allow the employee to take off work a half-hour early instead of taking the meal break. If Juanita leaves at 2:30, she has worked an 8.5 hour shift without a meal break, and the employer is in violation of the law.
    Note that Nevada law also requires shorter rest breaks, and does specify that they will be given each 3.5 hours. If you have a question about a specific work and break schedule, feel free to post it. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  22. At my job we work 7-4:30 and are only allowed to take one 30 minute paid break. Isn’t that violating Nevada’s state law? Also does it make a difference if the employee is salary or hourly? Most of us at work are non-exempt salary. So would Nevada’s state laws apply to us as well?

  23. Hi Michelle! You are probably entitled to a paid 10-minute rest break for each 4 hours worked (or major portion thereof). Since you work 9 hours, you would be entitled to two rest breaks. The rest breaks should be in the middle of each 4-hour work segment, as far as possible. Employees working under a collective bargaining agreement can be excluded. The Nevada meal break and rest break laws apply to exempt and non-exempt employees as well as hourly employees. The Nevada Labor Commissioner can grant an exemption based on business necessity, for example, for 911 operators. If you think your employer is in violation and you have calmly discussed this with them, you can file a complaint with the Nevada Labor Commissioner at http://www.laborcommissioner.com/. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  24. When your company gives you a 10 minute break, and they tell everyone that your breaks begin and ends when you leave your area and return to your area, 50 to 100 yards away, 2-3 minutes to go one way, It leaves you with less the 5 minutes in the lunch room, is this par for the course? Or am I missing something

  25. Hi buddy! This practice is lawful in Nevada, although it would not be in some other states. In California, for example, the employee is entitled to a “net” break of 10 minutes. That means the employee’s break time does not start until he or she is in the break area.

    However, Nevada has no such limitation. The employer is required to give a total of 10 minutes for a paid break. In Nevada, this is par for the course. As long as all employees are being treated the same, this is lawful. If it makes you feel any better, most states do not require that employees be given rest breaks at all. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  26. It’s the busy season for my employer, and they’re providing a free meal if I do not take my lunch. They still give me the option to take my lunch, but I get no free meal from them. Is this legal?

  27. Hi Chris! Yes, it is legal for the employer to give you a free lunch in Nevada. The way the Nevada meal break statute is worded, the employer must provide a meal break to you, if you wish to take it. An employee in Nevada can voluntarily waive the meal break in some cases (although we would prefer that the employee do so in writing.) In this case, the employer is giving you an incentive to voluntarily waive the meal break. This is creative, but it is probably legal. You are certainly free to refuse the lunch and take your meal break, if you like. Having said all that, we are not aware of any case law on this subject and it is possible that the courts would rule differently. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  28. Hello. I work in Las Vegas in a factory where mist employees work 8hrs a day. We are entitled to two 10min breaks but when I asked about a half hour break, the manager said that time is only granted AFTER 8hrs of work(which they don’t allow). I always clock in about a half hour early and clock out after my 8hrs are completed. Is this legal? And aren’t the employees entitled to a half hour break for their daily 8hrs of work? Thanks

  29. Hi Cris! Nevada law requires the employer to give you a meal break if the shift is 8 hours or more. However, if the shift is less than 8 hours, they are not required to give employees a meal break. If you are working at least 8 hours and not being given a meal break, you can file a complaint with the Nevada Labor Commissioner at http://www.laborcommissioner.com/. There is no law that the employer must allow you to come to work half an hour early and leave half an hour early. The employer could discipline or terminate you for not adhering to their schedule. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  30. Hi Amelia! Our dept is looking at switching to four 10 hour days instead of the usual 8 hour day. We currently are taking only 30 mins for lunch (plus 2 two 15 min breaks). If we switch to four 10′s, what is the minimum required breaks / lunches? Is it still two breaks & one 30 min lunch? Thx!

  31. Hi Dennis! If you switch to working a 10-hour day, there will be no change in the meal breaks. Employees are still entitled to a 30 minute meal break.

    Nevada law requires that an employee be given a paid 10-minute rest break for each 4-hour work segment, “or major portion thereof.” Anything over 2 hours is considered a major portion of 4 hours. If your employees work exactly 10 hours, they would be entitled to two 10-minute paid breaks. However, if they work 10 hours and one minute, they would be entitled to three paid 10-minute breaks. Giving two paid 15-minute breaks does not satisfy this requirement. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

  32. Being forced to clock out multiple times per day as I wait for late patients at a doctors office. This doesn’t seem legal, I’m at work, shouldn’t I be paid

  33. Hi Curtis! You are absolutely correct — you are at work, and you should be paid. Under both federal and Nevada minimum wage laws, an employee must be paid for all time worked. Any time that you are required to wait on company premises for employment, is work time.

    Example: Todd is a bicycle messenger. He is required to show up at the office at 8 am and wait until there is a message to be delivered. If Todd has to wait until 10 am for the first message, he is entitled to payment for those 2 hours.

    Under the federal FLSA or Fair Labor Standards Act, an employee who is required to hang around waiting for something to do is “being engaged to wait.” That means the employer is paying the worker to remain available for work. This occurs in many occupations. If you were free to leave the premises and go to the movies or go to the grocery store, then the employer would not be required to pay you. However, if you are required to wait around until another patient arrives, you must be paid for the entire time.

    In addition, federal law requires that you be paid from the beginning of your work day to the end of your work day. If you arrive and begin work at 8 am, and conclude at 6 pm, you must generally be paid for the entire time. (There is an exception for a genuine meal break of 30 to 60 minutes — but not more than 60 minutes.)

    Approach your employer and tactfully present the case that you are entitled to payment for the entire time. If the employer declines, file a wage complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor at http://www.dol.gov, or with the Nevada Labor Commissioner. It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who files a wage complaint in good faith. HTH, and thanks for reading the blogs!~ Amelia

    Read more about this at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs22.htm

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