New Hampshire Break Laws

April 9th 2024

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require US employers to provide breaks to employees during a workday. However, some states may adopt different policies, and employers may provide meal or rest breaks according to state or their individual company policies.

This article aims to explain the break law rights that employees in New Hampshire are entitled to,  to increase awareness around legal compliance on both the side of the employee and employer.

This article covers:

Meal Breaks in New Hampshire

Employees who work more than five consecutive hours must be given a meal break of 30 minutes. During this period, the employee should be completely relieved of their duties. Meal breaks may be paid or unpaid according to company policy.

However, on agreement with the employer, an employee may not be given a meal break if they can eat while performing their job duties. In such cases, the employee should be rightfully compensated for the duration of their break.

Rest Breaks in New Hampshire

There are no specific laws requiring rest breaks for employees in New Hampshire. However, if breaks are allowed by the employer and the duration of these breaks lasts for 20 minutes or less, this is counted as hours worked and should be compensated.

Breastfeeding Breaks in New Hampshire

New legislation in New Hampshire will come into effect on the 1st of July 2025, mandating an unpaid 30-minute break for expressing milk by a nursing employee after every three hours of work. This law holds for one year from the date of birth of the child and guarantees the rights of breastfeeding mothers.

Employers are also required to provide a sufficient and clean private space (not a bathroom) that is free from intrusions from coworkers and the public; and has a chair and electrical outlet for a breast pump.

Break Obligations for Minor Employees in New Hampshire

State law in New Hampshire allows all employees who work for five consecutive hours to have a 30-minute break for meals. For minors, this break can be prolonged at the discretion of the employer.

Learn more about New Hampshire child labor laws.

Exceptions to Break Laws in New Hampshire

There are multiple exceptions to break laws in Hampshire which include the following:

  • Janitors, watchmen (and women), caretakers
  • Employees involved in the publication and delivery of newspapers
  • Farm or personal service employees
  • Labor required by an unanticipated emergency
  • Employees in retail stores in resort areas, inns, theaters, motion picture houses, hotels, and restaurants
  • Workers in telegraph and telephone offices

Penalties for Violating Break Laws in New Hampshire

If a break law has been violated by an employer, a minimum civil penalty of $100 per violation may be imposed.

Learn more about New Hampshire 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.