Lunch breaks can be a great reprieve from a long day, and other times can make the day drag on. Walmart is no stranger to rules and regulations, especially regarding labor laws. Included in labor laws are mandatory lunch breaks, but how long is Walmart lunch break?
Walmart has a mandatory 30-minute unpaid meal break during shifts that are 6-8 hours long. Shifts that are longer than 10 hours include an additional 30-minute unpaid break.
Continue reading to learn more about Walmart’s break policy and what it entails.
Can you skip your lunch break at Walmart?
Skipping lunch breaks and mandatory 15-minute breaks are not allowed, as this can lead to a hefty fine for the company breaking labor laws if the employee is to report it. These breaks are strictly enforced and are taken seriously by management, with potential consequences against those who do not take their breaks within the appropriate time interval.
Violating the mandatory unpaid lunch break can result in disciplinary action against the employee, and too many marks against the employee can eventually result in termination. Another action that can be taken against those who don’t take their lunch breaks is barring that employee from using the cash registers.
The cons far outweigh any pros of skipping a lunch break, especially if the incentive behind wanting to skip the lunch break is to leave work a bit early instead. At the very least, management won’t allow it, and skipping lunches is a punishable offense under the right conditions.
How many breaks are allowed in a 5 hour shift at Walmart?
The standard 30-minute lunch break does not apply to shifts shorter than 8 hours, so in a 5 hour shift, the legally required rest period is two 15 minute breaks on the clock.
This equates to a paid 30 minute break, though the 15 minute time frame is a bit restrictive if one wants to go off the property for these breaks to grab a meal. It is enough time for the employee to rest and relax without being worried about being accused of “slacking” since these paid 15 minute rest breaks are also mandatory, just like meal breaks.
During these paid 15 minute breaks, employees can shop at the store for meals, listen to music, use their phones, and generally do as they please (within reason) on these paid breaks.
For shifts, six or more hours, a mandatory 30 minute lunch break is required, during which you are not obligated to perform any work-related responsibilities. These break or “lunch” periods can be extended to 60 minutes with permission from the appropriate supervisor.
In addition to the 30-60 minute unpaid break, the employee is entitled to two 15 minute “rest” breaks which function similarly to that of lunch, though the employee remains on the clock.
One 15 minute break is to be taken within the first 4 hours of the shift and the other during the last 4 hours. This helps reduce fatigue and work-related injuries and gives the employee a bit of downtime during their shift to rest or even shop at the store if needed.
What is the break policy for people under 18 at Walmart?
Walmart has the same policy for employees under 18 as those older than 18, though there may be more restrictions on the minor’s schedule to account for their school schedules. So, for minors who work 8 hour shifts (usually this cannot be on a school night or even when school is in session), two 15 minute rest breaks are allowed on the clock and one unpaid 30 minute lunch break.
Many states have laws restricting how long a shift can be for minors and how many total hours a week minors can work while school is in session. These restrictions are taken very seriously, as violations can be up to a $10,000 penalty for each employee subject to the violation.
In some states, mandatory 30 minute lunch breaks are to be given every 5 hours to those under 18. These states include:
Other states may have similar laws, like breaks to be given every 4 hours instead of 5 (like California and Florida). Still, every state generally restricts consecutive hours allowed to be worked by minors without breaks. Once the employee turns 18, regardless if they’re in school, they no longer fall under the protection of Child Labor Laws and can be scheduled and treated as an adult.
These laws are designed to keep the minor from being exploited by the employer and letting work get in the way of their education.
Lunch breaks at Walmart are generally 30 minutes, though they can go up to 60 minutes long with approval from a supervisor. These lunch breaks are mandatory and heavily enforced, with some consequences coming to the employee if they do not take these mandated breaks.
Lunch breaks are applied to minors’ schedules in the same way as those over the age of 18, though minors will often have more restrictive schedules to not get in the way of schoolwork. Regardless of the law, taking a break during work is essential for the employee’s health and well-being, both mentally and physically, and should not be taken lightly.
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