New Jersey Break Laws

April 11th 2024

New Jersey, like some other states in the US, does not have a law requiring employers to provide rest and meal breaks. Yet, several employers in New Jersey voluntarily offer such breaks to enhance workers’ productivity and provide a comfortable work environment. These employers must adhere to the requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

This article provides a comprehensive overview of New Jersey break laws.

This article covers:

Rest Break in New Jersey

Employers in New Jersey are not legally mandated to provide rest breaks except for minor employees. However, several employers offer rest breaks under their custom or company policy. If the employer chooses to provide a rest break, federal law applies, and employers must pay for short breaks of less than 20 minutes.

Meal Break in New Jersey

In New Jersey, there is no legal requirement for employers to provide workday meal breaks to employees, except for employees under 18 years of age. However, several employers in New Jersey voluntarily provide meal breaks to create a conducive work environment. 

If an employer offers a meal break as part of its custom or company policy, then the federal requirements must apply. Federal law requires employers to provide at least 30 minutes of unpaid breaks, during which employees are relieved of all job duties. But if an employee is required to work during the designated meal break, the employee must be compensated.

Breastfeeding Breaks in New Jersey

According to the New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition, the provision for workplace breastfeeding rights in the state is regulated by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJRS §10:5–12). A breastfeeding employee must not be discriminated against in the workplace because the employee breastfeeds or chooses to pump breast milk at work.

Employers must provide employees with a reasonable length for breastfeeding, at least 30 minutes, and a suitable private room other than a bathroom stall. Additionally, the room must have:

  • A chair and a small table to set up the pump.
  • An electrical outlet
  • A sink and refrigerator or cold storage

Breastfeeding breaks in New Jersey are not paid. Furthermore, the New Jersey law allows employees the right to pump breaks and continue expressing breast milk without duration limits.

Break Obligations for Minor Employees in New Jersey

New Jersey child labor laws limit the number of working hours a minor employee is allowed to work and ensure teenage employees have adequate rest during their workday. Employers in New Jersey with employees under 18 years of age are required to provide a 30-minute break after 5 consecutive worked hours.

Penalties for Employers in New Jersey Violating Break Laws

Employers in New Jersey can refuse to allow breaks for adult employees. However, if an employer provides break periods, then they must adhere to federal laws. If not, employees may file a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR), most significantly those nursing employees who are discriminated against or denied breastfeeding breaks.

Learn more about New Jersey 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.