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Meal and Break Rules in Oregon

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

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

Oregon has general rules relating to meals and rest periods, as well as special provisions for tipped employees and minors.

Meal Period Requirements

Employers in Oregon must provide an appropriate meal period of at least 30 minutes for each work period of not less than six nor more than eight hours.

The meal must be taken between the second and fifth hour worked (if the work period is seven hours or less) or between the third and sixth hour worked (if the work period is more than seven hours) and the employee must be relieved of all duties.

A period in which to eat while continuing to perform duties or remain on call, but which is not deducted from hours worked, is permitted only where the nature of the work prevents the employee from being relieved of all duty.

Meal break requirements may be modified by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement entered into by employees that specifically prescribes rules concerning meal and rest periods.

Tipped employees. Tipped restaurant workers in Oregon have the option of waiving their meal period. However, employers can not force an employee to waive the meal period.

Rest Period Requirements

Employers also must provide rest periods of at least 10 minutes without deduction from pay for every four hours or major part thereof worked in one work period.

The period of rest must be in addition to the usual meal period, and insofar as possible should be taken approximately in the middle of each work period.

The Wage and Hour Commission may make exceptions for good cause shown.

Meals and breaks for minors. Special meal and rest period rules apply to minor employees under the age of 18 and under the age of 16.

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