Louisiana Break Laws

April 10th 2024

While some employers in Louisiana provide workers with breaks, others do not. Is this against the law? Some states, such as New York and California, require employers to provide meal breaks, rest breaks, and other break entitlements during the workday. However, in Louisiana, neither federal nor state law requires employers to offer such breaks.

This article discusses the key provisions of meal and rest breaks employers in Louisiana may provide and how they can ensure compliance with Louisiana labor laws.

This article covers:

Rest Breaks in Louisiana

In Louisiana, employers are not obligated by law to provide rest breaks for their employees. Nonetheless, companies may choose to offer such breaks as a part of their policy. If an employer decides to provide rest breaks, they must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to FLSA regulations, brief rest breaks of 5 to 20 minutes are considered working hours and must be compensated as such.

Meal Breaks in Louisiana

When it comes to adult employees, the employer decides to provide meal breaks. A bona fide meal period must be unpaid and last at least 30 minutes without interruption. Employees taking their meal break must be completely relieved of their duties. 

Breastfeeding Breaks in Louisiana

Employees breastfeeding at work in Louisiana are protected by the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act. This law protects pregnant workers and employees who are nursing mothers from discrimination in the workplace.

Under the FLSA’s Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) Act, employees have the right to the following:

  • Reasonable break time to pump milk when needed during work. Employers cannot require employees to stick to a fixed pumping schedule. Instead, employees must be given enough duration and frequency of break time to meet their needs.
  • A private space that must not be a bathroom, where coworkers or other people can intrude while breastfeeding employees pump breast milk. This also applies to employees who work remotely at work, which means employees must step away from their cameras and computers to pump. 

Breastfeeding employees in Louisiana must be provided with this break until one year after the child’s birth. Employers of all sizes are required to adhere to the PUMP Act. However, employers with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt from this federal law if providing such breaks would cause an undue hardship to the company’s operations.

Both employers and employees should note that the PUMP Act does not apply to airline crewmembers (pilots and flight attendants). Certain employees in the motorcoach and railway industries are not covered by the PUMP Act until December 2025; employers follow special PUMP regulations for transportation workers

If employers deny breaks, employees can file a complaint with the Louisiana Department of Labor for violations of the PUMP Act.

Break Obligations for Minor Employees in Louisiana

According to Louisiana Minor Labor Law, minor employees must be over 14 years of age to be employed or permitted to work. All minor employees must receive at least one 30-minute meal break for every five hours worked. Such meal breaks are not considered working hours and must not be compensated. 

There is no time restriction regarding the number of daily or weekly hours worked for minors aged 16 and 17. However, minors must receive an 8-hour rest break at the end of each work day before the shift of the next work day. 

Louisiana employers are required to comply with both federal and state laws when it comes to minor employees. They must follow whichever law provides greater protection to these employees. If employers fail to provide adequate breaks to minor employees, they may face a fine ranging from $100 to $500, or they could be imprisoned for a period of thirty days to six months. In some cases, both fines and imprisonment may be applied.

Learn more about Louisiana Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.