Ohio Labor Laws About Cigarette Breaks
- Federal regulations apply to breaks voluntarily provided by employers to workers.cigarette image by Tsvetomila Mitva from Fotolia.com
Federal law does not require companies to furnish workers with short breaks, commonly referred to as cigarette breaks, coffee breaks or rest breaks. The U.S. Department of Labor provides employees with this information on its website. Ohio state law compels in-state employers to provide these short breaks to only one select group of workers. All other workers must rely on contractual terms and conditions or employer generosity to enjoy this job benefit.
- Federal regulations apply to breaks voluntarily provided to workers. For example, the Code of Federal Regulations at 29 C.F.R. 785.18 applies to rest periods of between five and 20 minutes. This Code section indicates that such breaks are "common" and that they promote worker efficiency. The section further provides that this break time must be counted as hours worked.
- The Ohio Bureau of Labor and Worker Safety directly addresses the issue of worker breaks on the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of its website. The Bureau specifies that employers are not required to provide lunch breaks or even restroom breaks to workers. Ohio law provides this job benefit to only one class of employees.
- In Ohio, employees under 18 years of age must get a 30 minute break for every 5 hours worked. The Ohio Revised Code, Title 41, Chapter 4109.07 provides that employers do not have to pay minors the 30 minutes on break. Chapter 4109.99 provides that any employer not providing a minor worker with the legally required break is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.