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James A. Clifford
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  • Are employers allowed to deny employees breaks or lunches in the state of Maine?

    I was under the assumption that when working an 8 hour shift, employers were required to allot 15 mins for breaks every 4 hours, as well as a break to eat. Maine labor laws stipulate that if there are two or less employees on shift, that these bre...

    James’s Answer

    You may be referring to 26 MRSA 601, which states "an employee may be employed or permitted to work for no more than 6 consecutive hours at one time unless he is given the opportunity to take at least 30 consecutive minutes of rest time, except in cases of emergency in which there is danger to property, life, public safety or public health. This rest time may be used by the employee as a mealtime." As you note, there is an exception for employers where there are fewer than 3 employees on duty at one time.

    State labor laws and regulations cannot provide employees with fewer protections than the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, though they can afford more protections. Without knowing your specific problem it will be difficult to provide a more specific problem.

    Jim Clifford
    Law Office of James Clifford, LLC
    One Monument Way, 2nd Floor
    Portland, ME 04101
    (207) 541-9101
    www.jamescliffordlaw.com
    jamesclifford@jamescliffordlaw.com

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