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Meal and Break Rules in Maryland

Filed under Managing the Workplace. Fact checked on June 2, 2012.

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Employers in Maryland must comply with these state rules relating to meals and break times.

Maryland does not have a general meal and break rule but has special rules which apply to minors and retail workers.

Rest Breaks for Minors

A minor may not be employed for more than five consecutive hours without a nonworking period of at least one-half hour.

Rules for Retail Employers and Workers

Retail workers can choose as a day of rest either Sunday or the Sabbath of the employee. Such workers must provide written notice to the employer of such day of rest.

Retail employers are prohibited from discharging, disciplining, discriminating against, or penalizing an employee who chooses a day of rest. Employers cannot require an applicant for employment of 25 hours or more to answer any question that would identify the day of rest the applicant would choose.

The day of rest law for retail workers does not apply to managerial or professional employees. Outside of Wicomico County, this provision also does not apply to part-time employees.

Provisions allowing for employees to designate a day of rest do not affect any right granted under a collective bargaining agreement, nor do they apply during an emergency declared by a governmental authority.

Effective March 1, 2011, retail employers with 50 or more employees must provide employees working a consecutive 4 to 6 hour shift with a 15 minute nonworking break and employees working 6 consecutive hours with a nonworking break of at least 30 minutes.

Additional rules apply for employees working longer consecutive hours.

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