Connecticut Break Laws

March 12th 2024

In Connecticut, break laws are governed by state and federal regulations. Although there are no specific rest break requirements in Connecticut, this does not negate the importance of such breaks for employees. Hence, if provided, employers should follow the outlined provisions in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Providing rest and meal breaks increases employee productivity, reduces burnout, and limits accidents in the workplace, which can directly affect the quality of work. For this reason they should be prioritised, along with the fact that employers who do not maintain mandatory breaks may face significant consequences.

This article discusses the key provisions of meal and rest break laws in Connecticut.

This article covers:

Rest Breaks in Connecticut

Connecticut state law does not require employers to provide rest breaks. However, if provided, employers typically follow guidelines outlined in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the FLSA, meal breaks (typically lasting 30 minutes or more) do not have to be compensated as long as the employee is completely relieved of duties. Short breaks, usually less than 20 minutes, must be compensated for.

Meal Breaks in Connecticut

Employers are required to provide a meal period of at least 30 minutes to employees who have worked 7.5 or more consecutive hours. The break should be given after the first two hours and before the last two hours of the work shift.

Break Law Exemption in Connecticut

An employer in Connecticut may not be required to provide a meal break if any of the following conditions apply:

  • The break could pose a risk to public safety.
  • Only one employee can perform the duties of the position.
  • The employer has fewer than five employees on a particular shift at a specific workplace.
  • The nature of the employer’s operations requires employees to remain available to respond to urgent matters, and the employer compensates them for the missed meal period.

Breastfeeding Breaks in Connecticut

In Connecticut, employers are mandated to provide break time to employees who wish to express their breastmilk. Under House Bill No. 5158, an employer should make efforts to provide reasonable accommodations where the employee can express milk in private, provided that it would not cause undue hardship to the employer.

The lactation room or location should be:

  • Free from intrusion and shielded from the public.
  • Situated close to, or include a refrigerator or employee-provided portable cold storage device for breast milk storage.
  • With access of an electrical outlet.

Break Obligations for Minor Employees in Connecticut

Connecticut law mandates specific provisions for employees under the age of 18. Minors are entitled to a 30-minute uninterrupted meal break for every consecutive period of 7.5 hours of work. This provision aims to ensure proper rest for young workers, and their well-being.

Rest Day Requirements in Connecticut

Connecticut General Statutes Section 53-303e states that no employer shall compel any employee to work more than six days in one calendar week. Employees who refuse to work more than six days in one calendar week cannot grounded for termination or dismissal.

However, if there is a need for the employee to report for work, the employer is required to compensate the employee for the overtime rate. 

Penalties for Employers in Connecticut Denying Breaks

While Connecticut break laws may not impose strict regulations for adult employees, there are clear provisions to protect the rights of minors and nursing mothers in the workforce.

Employees should understand their rights under state and federal laws to ensure fair treatment in the workplace.

Learn more about Connecticut Overtime 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.