Mississippi Break Laws

April 14th 2024

Just like other states in the United States, Mississippi does not require employers to provide rest or meal periods to their employees. This lack of state-specific legislation does not lessen the importance of having short breaks during working hours. Employers in Mississippi can still offer rest or meal breaks as part of their company practice or policy while adhering to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Understanding employment rules can be challenging, especially when following laws that differ in each state. So, this article talks in detail about the break laws at work in Mississippi.

This article covers:

Rest Breaks in Mississippi

Mississippi does not have state laws mandating rest breaks for employees. Nevertheless, when employers provide short breaks (usually lasting 5 to 20 minutes), federal law under the FLSA treats these breaks as compensable work hours. Consequently, such breaks should be included in the sum of hours worked during the payroll period and should be paid.

Meal Breaks in Mississippi

Like rest breaks, no Mississippi state laws compel employers to offer meal breaks to their employees. When the employer provides meal breaks, the FLSA stipulates that breaks lasting thirty minutes or more are not considered work time – hence, not compensated – provided the employee is completely relieved from duty. If the employee works during this break, they must be compensated.

Breastfeeding Breaks in Mississippi

In Mississippi, breastfeeding laws support mothers by allowing them to breastfeed in public places where they are legally permitted. Additionally, the state supplements the federal PUMP Act with its legislation requiring workplace accommodations for nursing mothers.

This includes mandatory break times for expressing milk and a private, non-bathroom area, for lactation, equipped with an electrical outlet and close to a water source, specifically in child-care facilities.

Break Obligations for Minors in Mississippi

There are no specific laws regarding breaks for minors in Mississippi; thus, federal laws apply if breaks are provided. For minors aged 16 and 17, the state imposes fewer restrictions, allowing them to work longer hours, but still does not specify mandates regarding breaks.

For minors under 16, Mississippi law limits work to no more than 3 hours per school day and 18 hours a school week. Additionally, they are not allowed to work before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on school days.

Penalties for Employers in Mississippi Violating Break Laws

Mississippi has no specific state laws for meal and rest breaks. However, employers must follow federal guidelines if they provide breaks. Under the FLSA, short breaks (usually under 20 minutes) must be paid.

Failure to adhere to these federal regulations can result in penalties, such as back wages for unpaid break times. Repeated violations can lead to further legal actions and fines by the U.S. Department of Labor.

 Learn more about Mississippi 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.