Rest and Bathroom Breaks for Employees
Rest breaks of short duration—i.e., between 5 minutes and 20 minutes—are common among employees. Because these types of rest breaks are customary and viewed as promoting efficiency, they count as working time for which employees must be paid under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and Minnesota law. See 29 C.F.R. § 785.18; see also Minn. R. § 5200.0120. Minnesota law also requires that an employer “must allow each employee adequate time from work within each four consecutive hours of work to utilize the nearest convenient restroom.” See Minn. Stat. § 177.253.
In certain circumstances, an employee may be entitled to additional rest breaks as an accommodation for a disability. For example, an employee with a disability may require more frequent bathroom breaks than would otherwise be required, or a diabetic employee may need periodic breaks to monitor his or her blood-sugar.