Michigan Break Laws

February 22nd 2024

In general, laws governing breaks in the workplace are crucial for fostering a positive work environment, increasing productivity, and protecting the rights of employees.

In the state of Michigan, both employees and employers need to be familiar with the break laws that govern the rights and obligations in the workplace when it comes to necessary rest.

This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the break laws in Michigan, outlining the types of breaks offered, working hours restrictions, violations of break laws, and more.

This article covers:


What are the Types of Breaks offered in Michigan?

In Michigan, there are currently no federal regulations or state laws that would mandate employers to give their employees meal breaks or rest periods while working. 

However, if an employer implements a policy offering unpaid breaks, employees must be permitted to discontinue all work-related duties during these time intervals.

Minors Break Entitlement in Michigan

Although employees in Michigan are not entitled to any work breaks, employers are still obligated to provide employees who are minors with a break during their shift.

This is outlined in the Michigan Youth Employment Standards Act, which states that minors working for five or more consecutive hours must be given a minimum of 30 minutes for rest or a meal.

Breastfeeding Breaks in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recently introduced a new lactation room policy designed to create a supportive environment for breastfeeding workers.

The policy mandates that employers must provide suitable facilities and reasonable breaks for employees to express their breast milk.

The designated space should be private (ideally with a functional lock), equipped with a comfortable chair, an electrical outlet, and a flat surface such as a countertop.

It is important to note that this space cannot double up as a toilet stall or restroom in any way.

Employer Withdrawal of Commitment to Break Provision in Michigan

It may violate workers’ rights if an employer commits to providing meal breaks but prevents employees from taking them or discourages them from doing so.

This includes the requirement that employees clock in during a lunch break if they are not completely relieved of job-related duties.

The typical absence time for a meal break, if provided, is around 30 minutes, although shorter breaks may be allowed under certain circumstances between the 3rd and 5th hour of work.

It’s important to note that coffee breaks and snacks are not considered part of meal times.

Learn more about the penalties for breaking Michigan labor laws by going through out detailed guide.

Gender Equality in Break Consideration in Michigan

In Michigan, the provision of lunch and breaks for adult workers is solely determined by the employer’s discretion. Employers have the choice to offer lunch breaks or not. 

However, it is important to note that it is illegal for employers to discriminate based on gender when granting lunch breaks. 

This means that employers cannot provide lunch breaks to only male or female employees while excluding the other gender. 

Michigan Daily and Weekly Work Hour Restrictions

Michigan has its own set of laws regarding overtime requirements and exceptions, in addition to the provisions set forth in the FLSA.

The general rule is that any work done in excess of 40 hours in a workweek is considered overtime, and must be paid at a rate of 1.5 times the regular pay.

However, certain categories of employees have specific rules that apply to them, including staff members of hospitals and other facilities where patients live onsite, law enforcement employees, security personnel in correctional facilities, and employees conducting fire protection activities.

For Minors in Michigan, there are different legal working hours depending on their age.

Minors under the age of 16 can work from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. for no more than 10 hours a day and 6 days a week. While school is in session, they cannot work more than an average of 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week, and the combined total of school and work time cannot exceed 48 hours.

For minors aged 16 and 17, they can work between 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. when school is in session, and until 11:30 p.m. when not in session. Similar restrictions on hours and days apply as those that apply to those minors under 16, but they have a greater range of working hours under certain circumstances.

Learn more about Michigan Labor Laws and Michigan 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 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 for use of this guide.