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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Is a restaurant required to give its employees a 15 minute

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Is a restaurant required to give it's employees a 15 minute break for every 4 hours worked and a 30 minute lunch break for every 5 hour worked? If they don't is there anything an employee can do to get the situation corrected?
Thank you for your question.

According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, adult workers (those 18 and over) in non-agriculture positions must be allowed a paid rest period of at least 10 minutes for each 4 hours worked.The rest period must be allowed no later than the end of the third hour of the shift.

If more than 5 hours are worked in a shift:


Workers must be allowed at least a 30-minute meal period. Workers must be at least 2 hours into the shift before the meal time can start, and the meal time cannot start more than 5 hours after the beginning of the shift.


You can actually read the policy here.


What you need to do is file a worker's right complaint form, and file it with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry, who will investigate the matter and try to resolve it with the employer. By the way, it is against the law for a business to fire or otherwise discriminate against a worker for filing a complaint about a possible violation of their workplace rights - so the employer cannot retaliate against you for filing such a complaint form.


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