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How Many Hours Can An Employee Work Without A Break In Texas?

Texas labor law does not mandate any breaks for employees, which means they can work for the entire seven, or eight, hour shift without taking a break for lunch or coffee.

Nursing mothers are the only exception, as they can pump breast milk or nurse their babies within their first year.

So, how many hours can an employee work without a break in Texas? Although Texas labor law doesn’t mandate a break, this doesn’t mean that Texas workers must go the entire shift without eating their lunch. Employees can still eat their lunch or have a break, but they need to clock out, meaning the break is unpaid. It is up to the employers whether they provide Texas workers with paid or unpaid breaks.

Since the U.S. encourages state autonomy, every state has different laws on breaks in workplaces. 

Most Texas companies offer either of the following breaks:

  • One 30-minute break for lunch
  • Two 15-minute breaks to rest

Since a break is not mandatory, employees can eat their lunch while doing work. Employers must consider that part of the work hours. In the event that employers dock pay for an individual’s working lunch, the employee has the right to recover the payment. 

The only mandated break applicable in Texas is breast-pumping or nursing breaks. If employees are allowed to take their children to work, mothers are allowed to nurse their children during the first year of the baby’s life. Since children are not allowed in most workplaces, mothers get reasonable break times to pump milk. 

Some companies offer paid coffee breaks for 20 minutes or less. The reason this is paid is that it is supposedly beneficial to employers. Workers need coffee breaks to stay awake and be more productive. 

To summarize, to answer the question of how many hours can an employee work without a break in Texas? The answer is – it may not be the law, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires workplaces to provide employees access to bathrooms and give reasonable bathroom breaks for sanitation.


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