Meal and Rest Periods

Required Break Periods

Oregon law provides BOLI with the authority to assess civil penalties against employers of up to $1,000 for each violation of the meal and rest period provisions of the law. 

Rest Periods      

Oregon law requires an employee to provide a paid rest period of not less than 10 minutes for every segment of four hours or every "major portion thereof" (meaning two hours and one minute through four hours) worked in a work period.   OAR 839-020-0050(6)(a)(B) 

  • This time must be taken in addition to and separately from required meal periods.   
  • The rest period should be taken as nearly as possible in the middle of the work segment.   
  • It is prohibited for an employer to allow employees to add the rest period to a meal period or to deduct the rest periods from the beginning or end of the employee's work shift.

Meal Periods    

Oregon law requires an employer to provide an unpaid meal period of not less than 30 minutes to each non-exempt employee who works six or more hours in a work period. OAR 839-020-0050(3)(c)

  • An employee must be relieved of all work duties during the meal period.   
  • If an employee is not relieved of all work duties during a 30-minute meal period, the employer must pay the employee for that time.   
  • For work periods that are less than six hours, no meal period is required.

Required rest and meal periods based on length of work period:

Length of work period Rest Break(s)* Meal Periods**
2 hour or less 0 0
2 hours, 1 minute to 5 hours and 59 minutes 1 0
6 hours 1 1
6 hours and 1 minute to 10 hours 2 1
10 hours and 1 minute to 13 hours and 59 minutes 3 1
14 hours 3 2
14 hours and 1 minute to 18 hours 4 2
18 hours and 1 minute to 21 hours and 59 minutes 5 2
22 hours 5 3
22 hours and 1 minute to 24 hours 6 3

Lactation Breaks 

HB 2593 requires all employers, regardless of size, to provide nursing mothers with "a reasonable rest period to express milk each time the employee has a need to express milk." This language allows nursing mothers to take unpaid lactation breaks when needed. While these rest breaks are unpaid, there is an exception if a nonexempt employee takes their lactation break during a paid rest period.

Guidance regarding unpaid rest periods for the expression of milk can be found on the Bureau of Labor and Industries website. If you have additional questions, please contact the HR Service Center at hrinfo @uoregon.edu or 541-346-3159.