HR tip: Meal and Rest breaks (Oregon)

Most employers are required to not only offer, but actually enforce, taking a minimum 30 minute meal break (can be unpaid) after 6 hours of work in one work period.  The employee may not choose to skip the meal break in order to leave early, and cannot choose to forgo the meal break.

In addition, employers must also provide a paid 10 minute (minimum) break after working 4 hours in a work period. The employer may not add the 10 minute break(s) to the meal break or deduct the rest periods from the beginning or end of the work shift.

For a typical 8 hour day shift, this means the employee will have a morning break, lunch break, and then afternoon break.

Quick facts:

  • Employees may not skip the meal break in order to leave early;
  • Employees may not offer to work through the meal break;
  • Employees may not skip a rest break and add the 10 minutes to the meal breaks;
  • Employers are not required to provide additional breaks for smokers;
  • If an employee arrives for work 10 minutes late, the break must still be given.

To see the Oregon rules in detail, visit