Arkansas Break Laws

March 7th 2024

Understanding labor laws is essential to building a productive workplace. However, some states in the United States, like Arkansas, lack labor laws concerning rest breaks or meal periods.

Some employers in Arkansas provide break laws as part of their company policy. In such cases, these employers must adhere to the provisions stipulated in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and communicate their company’s break policies to ensure compliance. 

In this article, the Arkansas break laws are discussed in detail, covering the types of breaks employees are entitled to, break lengths, and under what circumstances employers can deny breaks.

This article covers:


Rest Breaks in Arkansas

Employers in Arkansas are not required to provide rest breaks. However, if an employer chooses to include such a break entitlement in their company policy, they must adhere to federal law.

According to FLSA rest breaks, rest breaks lasting less than 20 minutes are considered hours worked and must be compensated.

Meal Breaks in Arkansas

No state law in Arkansas requires employers to provide meal breaks. If an employer provides break time intended for eating meals, they must adhere to federal legislation. 

Following the federal FLSA, the Arkansas Department of Labor stated that bona fide meal breaks are not considered working time and must be taken separately from rest periods. During the 30-minute unpaid meal breaks, employees must be completely relieved from duty. If an employee is tasked during a meal break, the period must be considered worked and compensated.

Breastfeeding Breaks in Arkansas

In Arkansas, both federal and state laws support breastfeeding in the workplace. According to Arkansas breastfeeding law, employers must provide the following:

  • Reasonable unpaid break time each day for an employee who needs to express milk for her child.
  • Break time may concurrently run with any paid or unpaid break time provided to the employee.
  • A reasonable effort to provide a private, secure, and sanitary room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express milk. The room may be the employee’s workspace if the space meets the requirements.

In addition to these provisions, the employee must take reasonable steps to minimize disruption to the employer’s operations. 

Furthermore, employers may be exempted from these provisions if they create an undue hardship for business operations under state law. 

Break Obligations for Minor Employees in Arkansas

In Arkansas, the Labor Standards Division enforces and regulates child labor laws. A minor employee must be at least 14 years of age to be employed.

Despite having child labor laws, meal and rest breaks only extend to minor employees under 16 years of age and employed in the entertainment industry. Otherwise, it is the discretion of Arkansas employers to provide minor employees over 16 years of age with meal breaks and rest periods.

Exceptions to Break Laws in Arkansas

In Arkansas, certain professions are exempt from break laws. For instance, professionals working in the healthcare industry or factories may have different break requirements based on the nature of their work. Employers are allowed to deny breaks if providing them would cause undue hardship to business operations. However, such situations must be documented by the employer and should be in written agreement with the employee.

Learn more about Arkansas Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide, we have tried to make it accurate, but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you to seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred from the use of this guide.