Work (Rest) Breaks and Meal Periods - HR Policy 621

Work (Rest) Breaks and Meal Periods - HR Policy 621

This policy work breaks and meal periods for UAB employees, as well as breaks for nursing mothers.
Effective Date:
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None Assigned
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Applies To:
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Policy 621 – Work (Rest) Breaks and Meal Periods

Date Issued: 10/80 
Date Revised: 07/16
If the workload permits, work breaks are allowed, but they are not guaranteed.  Employees should be aware that taking work breaks depends upon the department involved and whether normal work can be continued while employees take breaks.

Where work breaks are allowed, they are limited to two paid, 15-minute breaks per shift and typically may not be accumulated to allow employees to leave work early or to extend or replace a meal period.

The University generally provides the opportunity for an uninterr
upted meal period of no less than 30 minutes. The actual time and length of the meal period will be scheduled by the supervisor (typically 30 or 60 minutes).  Meal periods are considered personal time, and employees are encouraged to leave the immediate work area in order to eat and relax.  For nonexempt employees, meal periods are not considered work time for pay purposes.  Nonexempt employees must punch (badge) out/in for meal periods.  Prior authorization is required before working during a meal period.  If you work during your meal period, this time should be counted as work hours.
Nursing Mothers and Lactation Support
Departments are required to provide an appropriate location and give breaks, as necessary, to nursing mothers to express breast milk for her nursing child up to one year after the child’s birth.  The location cannot be a bathroom and must be shielded from view, free of interruptions and readily available to the employee.  Lactation centers located at UAB are listed here​.  Employees who use work breaks to express milk must be compensated in the same way that other employees are compensated for work breaks.