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Breaks and Meal Periods


View policy pdf:Breaks and Meal Periods Policy

Policy Statement

Refer to the Policy Procedures section.


Non-exempt employees who are required to work six or more hours per day should be given an unpaid meal break of at least 30 minutes. During the meal period, the non-exempt employee must be completely relieved from duty; otherwise, he/she must be paid for work time. It is not necessary that the employee leave the premises if s/he is otherwise completely freed from duties during the meal period. Supervisors determine the schedule for lunch breaks. Employees may not forego meal periods to accumulate extra time off in the future or to shorten the workday. Lunch periods for exempt employees are not required but are highly recommended.

For employees who work an eight hour shift in an around-the-clock operation (e.g., campus police), a 30-minute meal break is not required, but the employee must be given the opportunity to eat while maintaining active on-duty status.

If the work situation permits, a supervisor may authorize two 15-minute breaks, one in mid-morning and one in mid- afternoon. During the break period, employees may leave their work areas if they have the approval of their supervisors. Where it is necessary to have someone on duty at all times, care should be taken to ensure work assignments are covered. The needs of the job must be met first, and in some cases, breaks are not possible. When provided, breaks are paid time. Employees may not forego breaks to accumulate extra time off in the future or to shorten the workday. (Revised 07/26/2016)


Responsible University Senior Administrator:  Vice President for Finance & Administration

Responsible University Administrator: Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Policy Owner: University Human Resources, Workforce Engagement

Policy Contact: Senior Director, Workforce Engagement
Contact Information: or (706) 542-2222

Date Issued:

Last Reviewed/Updated: