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Delaware Department of Labor

Meal Breaks

General Provisions:

All employees must receive a meal break of at least 30 consecutive minutes if the employee is scheduled to work 7.5 or more hours per day. Meal breaks must be given sometime after the first two (2) hours of work and before the last (2) hours of work.

This rule does not apply when:

  • The employee is a professional employee certified by the State Board of Education and employed by a local school board to work directly with children.
  • There is a collective bargaining agreement or other employer-employee written agreement, which provides otherwise.

Rules have been issued granting exemptions when:

  • Compliance would adversely affect public safety
  • Only one employee may perform the duties of a position
  • An employer has fewer than five employees on a shift at one location (the exception would only apply to that shift).
  • Continuous nature of an employer’s operations such as chemical production or research experiments, requires employees to respond to urgent or unusual conditions at all times and the employees are compensated for their meal breaks.

Where exemptions are allowed, employees must be allowed to eat meals at their workstations or other authorized locations and use rest room facilities as reasonably necessary.

Rules Relating to Exemptions from Meal Break Requirements

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