Utah Break Laws

February 26th 2024

Utah, like many other states, does not have specific laws about breaks during work hours. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects workers and ensures fair treatment, including appropriate rest periods.

Understanding the break laws in Utah is crucial, not only to comply with labor laws but also to foster a healthy and productive work environment.

This article explains Utah’s break laws and how the provisions protect workers’ rights and promote a positive workplace.

This article covers:

Rest Breaks in Utah

It is under the discretion of employers in Utah to provide a 15-minute compensated rest break for every 4 hours worked. According to federal law, employers must calculate breaks of less than 20 minutes towards work hours and must be paid.

Meal Breaks in Utah

Employers in Utah may provide a minimum of a 30-minute unpaid lunch break, and the employees must be relieved of all duties for the meal period. An employee’s lunch period should not be at the beginning or end of their work day.

Exercise Breaks in Utah

In the state of Utah, certain employers may provide compensated exercise release time to their employees. In relation to Utah Administrative Code R477-8-3, the Utah Department of Government Operations (DGO) has established a provision that enables employers to offer 30 minutes of break per day, for up to three days, to employees who wish to take a break for exercise. This provision has been created to promote a healthy workforce and is supported by the DGO.

However, there are some limitations to exercise breaks in Utah:

  • Employees cannot use the exercise release time during the first or last hour of an employee’s work day.
  • Supervisors may require employees to take the exercise time in conjunction with the lunch period.
  • Unused exercise release time is not cumulative. Employees cannot carry the unused break times or use more than 30 minutes on a given day.

Exercise release time is intended for physical fitness activities only and should not be used as an additional rest period for personal matters.

Break Exemption in Utah

According to the federal law, when an employer provides meal breaks, the employees must be completely relieved from their duties. Employees should be free and uninterrupted during the meal period. However, some professions are exempt from this due to the nature of their jobs. 

When an employee is required to perform any duties, whether active or passive, while having lunch, the employer must compensate for the meal period. For example, a factory worker is required to be at his workstation to attend to his machine while eating.

Breastfeeding Breaks in Utah

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Utah employers must provide breastfeeding breaks for nursing mothers. In addition to the reasonable break time, employers must offer a private room, other than a restroom, where employees can express their breast milk. This federal law entitles nursing mothers to take this break for up to one year after childbirth.

Break Obligations for Minor Employees in Utah

Utah only requires meal and rest breaks for minor employees under 18 years of age. According to Utah Administrative Code R610-2-3, employers should provide at least 30 minutes of meal breaks for minor employees working more than 5 hours. Any employee on a meal break should be completely relieved of all duties and permitted to leave the workstation. In cases where the employee’s meal break is interrupted by work, employers must consider the meal period as time worked.

Further, employers must provide a paid rest break of at least 10 minutes to minor employees for every 4 hours worked. Minor employees should not work over 3 consecutive hours without a rest break.

Learn more about Utah Labor 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 to 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 from the use of this guide.