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.

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43 Thoughts on “Lunch and Break Law Regulations in Nevada (NV)”

henry

May 19, 2008 at 4:03 pm

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?

Amelia

May 20, 2008 at 9:53 am

Henry — You raise an important question. We have a forum especially to address employee’s issues like this one. Please post your question on http://www.laborlawtalk.com. Best of luck, and thanks for reading! Amelia

June 12, 2008 at 10:43 am

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.

Amelia

June 12, 2008 at 8:21 pm

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

Corina

November 6, 2008 at 2:02 am

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?

Amelia

November 6, 2008 at 10:07 am

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

Confused

April 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm

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.

Amelia

April 8, 2009 at 7:06 pm

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

Skipper

August 4, 2009 at 1:12 pm

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?

Amelia

August 4, 2009 at 7:07 pm

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

August 11, 2009 at 11:05 pm

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!

Amelia

August 12, 2009 at 8:40 am

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

Peter

August 20, 2009 at 9:03 pm

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?

Amelia

August 21, 2009 at 11:39 am

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

Jeff

October 31, 2009 at 11:18 pm

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

Amelia

November 1, 2009 at 7:33 am

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

Stephanie

November 13, 2009 at 3:11 pm

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

Amelia

November 13, 2009 at 5:03 pm

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

Jamie

February 13, 2010 at 1:05 am

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?

Amelia

February 13, 2010 at 7:03 pm

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

Frank Silva

August 1, 2010 at 2:59 pm

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?

Amelia

August 1, 2010 at 3:57 pm

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

Michelle

October 6, 2010 at 9:00 pm

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?

Amelia

October 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm

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

buddy

December 3, 2010 at 3:36 am

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

Amelia

December 3, 2010 at 7:58 am

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

Chris

December 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm

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?

Amelia

December 14, 2010 at 1:52 pm

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

Cris

January 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm

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

Amelia

January 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm

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

Dennis

January 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm

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!

Amelia

January 25, 2011 at 9:10 pm

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

Curtis

March 20, 2011 at 12:17 am

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

Amelia

March 20, 2011 at 8:38 am

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

wondering

December 21, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Question…
I’m an employer in Las Vegas and want to make sure I’m giving the appropriate breaks to my employees. It is a retail store, the employees work between 3 to 6 hours at most, usually 4 hour shifts, and work alone. Therefore I have not been able to give them breaks. I read that the 10 min per 4 hour shift rule does not apply to situations where only 1 person is working at a particular place of employment. Can you tell me if I am correct?

Because they are working alone, Would it be legal to pay them for an additional 10 minutes that they could use as a break after their 4 hour shift?

Amelia

December 22, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Wondering, your intentions are good but we’re not sure this is the solution. You are correct that an employee who works a 4 hour shift (“or any major portion thereof”) is entitled to a 10-minute paid rest break. In practice, the Nevada Labor Commission requires a 10-minute paid break for each shift of 3.5 hours or longer. It’s true that if there is never more than one employee in the store at a time, the requirement is waived. You can also apply to the Nevada Labor Commission for an exemption “based on business necessity.”

If you want to pay your employees for 10 minutes more than they work on each shift, that is very generous. However, it doesn’t fulfil the legal requirement that the employee be given a break.

Lori

April 29, 2014 at 11:56 am

Hello,

My wife works for a doggie daycare company and they are requiring her to clock out (in other words not get paid) for her bathroom breaks. Like, literally every time she needs a 5 minute “pee” break, she has to clock out. Is this legal in Nevada?

Juan

June 22, 2014 at 5:20 am

I’ve been working with this housekeeping company called the services company. My co workers have been under tremendous pressure due to the fact of insufficient employees. They all quit because it’s too much pressure on them thecompany wants less people so they can have us working 2 jobs , even more , I worked today from 2pm -2am with no lunch.

Amelia

June 22, 2014 at 6:44 am

Yes, Juan. Under Nevada law, you are entitled to a 30-minute unpaid break when you work a shift of 8 continuous hours or more. In addition, you are entitled to a 10-minute paid rest break for each 4 hours worked.

Caetano

July 2, 2014 at 7:34 pm

I can’t find anywhere on the internet a listing of common fines/penalties for employers who do not provide required 10 paid minutes breaks, or 30 minute breaks. Is there not provision or precedence covering this? What can happen to the business owner who daily employees workers (without any collective bargaining agreement forfeiting the right to these breaks) for up to 7.5 hours a day without providing the legally required 10 minutes break period within the first four hours? It’s important to me to know that and also troubling that I can’t find this information on the internet. is it a misdemeanor? is there a set fine for each incident? Thank you for your help!

Amelia

July 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

The Nevada Labor Commissioner enforces the Nevada break laws. That agency determines the enforcement actions against employers. Because the penalties and fines are not part of the statute (as they are in California, for example) they are not widely publicized. We also suspect that the agency exercises wide leeway in determining the penalties.

Keep in mind that an employer can gain an exemption from the state break laws if he/she can show a business necessity. For example, the owner of a convenience store where only one employee works each shift, can usually get an exemption if they apply for it.

Nevertheless, for most Nevada employers,just hearing that the Labor Commission is investigating is enough for them to start granting breaks.

Leiah

July 22, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Hello, I work in a very small (under 10 employees) company. We all have the same job title. Other than the supervisor. Is it legal for my supervisor to offer one person overtime and not the rest? Also we are always given a 30 min lunch break. One employee however, always takes a shorter lunch. He still works his full shift of 8 hrs. This ultimately gives him more overtime. Will the company be in trouble for letting him take shorter lunches? Can the supervisor force you to take a 30 min clocked out lunch?

Amelia

July 23, 2014 at 2:43 am

This is not fair Leiah, but it may not be a violation of federal or state law. Favoritism, or treating one employee better than others, is poor management, but in many cases it’s legal. A supervisor can treat one employee better than his coworkers by allowing that person to work more overtime. There are many cases when an employee is treated better than others, perhaps because he is the business owner’s nephew, or a close personal friend of the supervisor. In other cases, an employee may be treated better because a supervisor genuinely believes he does better work. A good supervisor doesn’t single an employee out this way.

There is an exception, but it may not apply in your case. Favoritism can be illegal discrimination in some cases. For example, if the one male employee is treated radically differently than all the other employees (who happen to be female) that might very well be illegal discrimination based on sex. (This is true, even if it’s not the supervisor’s intention to discriminate against female employees.) Or, if the favored employee is the only employee of his race, color, national ancestry or religion, that might be illegal discrimination. But if the employer is simply treating one Asian male employee better than all the other Asian and non-asian, male and female employees, that’s probably not illegal discrimination.

Unfortunately, your company is too small to be covered by federal discrimination laws, so the Nevada law would apply.

To answer your second question: yes, an employer can require that workers clock out for a 30 minute unpaid lunch break. Any employee who refuses can be written up or fired. Under federal minimum wage laws, when a meal break is less than 20 minutes long, the employee must be paid for the entire break.

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