Manage Construction Worker Lunch Break Time With These Tips

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  • 5 min read
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    Learn how to effectively manage your construction workers’ lunch break with these tips.

    For both employers and employees, a construction worker’s lunch break is a valuable necessity. Employees who work without taking a break aren’t effective, productive, or safe. 

    Unfortunately, break time can also be a serious headache for company owners and managers.

    You’ve probably already experienced the following issues:

    • Employees not logging their break time. There’s no audit trail to prove that your employees are taking their breaks—and you have no idea how much time they’re actually taking.
    • Employees taking too much break time. Employees easily lose track of time, if their time isn’t being externally tracked. That’s hours you’re paying for but not getting any returns from.
    • Employees working straight through their break. It’s easy to tunnel-vision on a project, especially when it’s almost complete. While admirable, it’s not only unsafe—it’s illegal.

    How can you make sure that your employees aren’t just taking their breaks but also logging them?

    Construction Worker Lunch Break Laws by State

    Some states, like California, have very specific laws about when workers must be given a break, while other states are more flexible. Let’s take a look at construction workers break laws by state.

    State
    Covered
    Breaks
    Alabama
    Employees working more than 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Alaska
    Under 18 working more than 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Arizona
    None
    None
    Arkansas
    Under 18 in the entertainment industry
    30 to 60 minute lunch
    California
    Non-exempt employees working more than 5 hours unless workday is only 6 hours
    30+ minute lunch

    10-minute break every four hours
    Colorado
    Employees covered under Colorado’s minimum wage order working more than 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch

    10-minute break every four hours
    D.C.
    None
    None
    Delaware
    Employees 18+ who work over 7.5 hours

    Employees under 18 who work 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Florida
    Non-exempt employees who work over 4 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Georgia
    N/A
    N/A
    Hawaii
    14 and 15-year-old employees who work over 5 hours
    30+ minutes
    Idaho
    N/A
    N/A
    Illinois
    Employees who work over 7.5 hours

    Employees under 16 who work over 5 hours
    20+ minute lunch


    30-minute lunch
    Indiana
    Employees who work more than 6 hours
    1-2 breaks totaling 30 minutes
    Iowa
    Employees who work more than 6 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Kansas
    Employees who work more than 6 hours
    30+ minute lunch

    If less than 30 minutes, the employee must be paid
    Kentucky
    Employees under 18 who work more than 4 hours

    Non-exempt employees over 18 who work more than 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch


    A reasonable period of break

    Louisiana
    Non-exempt employees who work over 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Unpaid
    Maine
    Employees who work more than 6 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Maryland
    Specific retail employees

    Non-exempt employees under 18 who work more than 5 hours

    5-minute break for 4-6 hour shifts

    30-minute break for 6+ hour shifts

    30-minute break for 8+ hour shifts with an additional 5-minute break for every additional 4 working hours
    Massachusetts
    Non-exempt employees who work more than 6 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Michigan
    Employees under 18 who work more than 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Minnesota
    Employees who work more than 4+ hours

    Employees who work more than 8+ hours
    Reasonable break time for bathroom breaks

    Reasonable break time for eating
    Mississippi
    N/A
    N/A
    Missouri
    Employees under 18 in the entertainment industry
    Reasonable break time for eating a meal every 5.5 hours

    15-minute break every 2 hours
    Montana
    N/A
    N/A
    Nebraska
    Employees who work at a mechanical establishment, assembling plant, or workshop
    30-minute break per every 8 hours worked
    Nevada
    Employees working over 8 hours

    Employees working over 3.5 hours
    30+ minute lunch

    10-minute break every 4 hours
    New Hampshire
    Employees who work over 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    New Jersey
    Minor employees who work over 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    New Mexico
    No requirements
    Rest breaks under 20 minutes must be paid
    New York
    Factory Personnel

    Retail Personnel

    Employees working more than 6 hours
    60+ minute lunch

    30+ minute lunch

    30+ minute lunch
    North Carolina
    Employees under 16 who work over 6 hours

    Employees who work over 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch

    30+ minute lunch
    Ohio
    Minor employees for every 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Oklahoma
    Employees under 16 who work more than 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Oregon
    Employees who work over 6 hours
    30+ minute lunch

    10-minute break every four hours for adults

    15-minute break every 4 hours for minors
    Pennsylvania
    Farmworkers and minor employees every 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Rhode Island
    Employees who work more than 5 hours
    20-minute lunch for 6 hours

    30-minute lunch for 8 hours
    South Carolina
    N/A
    N/A
    South Dakota
    N/A
    N/A
    Tennessee
    Employees who work 6+ hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Texas
    N/A
    N/A
    Utah
    Minor employees who work 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch

    10-minute break every 3 hours
    Vermont
    Employees
    Reasonable amount of break
    Virginia
    Employees under 16 who work more than 5 hours
    30+ minute lunch
    Washington
    Minor employees


    Employees working more than 3 hours longer than the workday

    Employees who work more than 4 hours
    Variable break times (10 minutes to 2 hours) based on age

    Additional lunchtime of 30+ minutes


    10-minute break for every 4 hours worked
    West Virginia
    Employees who work more than 6 hours
    20+ minute lunch
    Wisconsin
    Minor employees every 6 hours worked
    30+ minute lunch
    Wyoming
    N/A
    N/A

    The best way to make sure you are compliant with the law is to check with your state’s labor department website.

    Did You Know?

    Workyard helps you manage your construction workers’ breaks by automatically alerting them when they need to take one. Hours worked and break time are accurately logged within the app, providing the necessary paper trail to ensure that your employees are taking their breaks on time.

    3 Tips for Managing Construction Workers’ Break Times

    Now that you know the law, it’s time to start thinking about how you can manage your construction workers’ break time. Here are a few tips to get you started:

    1. Communicate Your Expectations Upfront

    Make sure your employees know what is expected of them during their break time. If you want them to take a specific number of breaks, or if there are certain activities that are not allowed, it should all be written in your employee manual.

    2. Use a Break Timer, Such as a Mobile Time Tracking App

    Workyard will keep track of how much break time your employees have taken. You’ll have an accurate, real-time record of what your employees are doing and where they are—and you’ll be able to pull reports for later. 

    3. Regularly Monitor Your Employees’ Break Time

    As an employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure your employees are taking breaks. In construction, an employee not taking breaks can be dangerous for everyone. Workyard provides detailed and accurate reports to analyze employee break time and productivity.

    Break times shouldn’t be complicated. With an accurate time clock app, it doesn’t have to be.

    How Workyard Can Help With Construction Worker Breaks

    If you’re looking for a way to streamline the break time process, Workyard can help. Workyard makes it easy to track hours worked, location, and break time—complete with a built-in break timer that can remind your employees when it’s time to take a break. 

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