Massachusetts law states that employees are entitled to a 30-minute meal break when working a period of more than 6 consecutive hours. During this break, an employee must be relieved of all duties and must be free to leave the workplace. This break period may be unpaid. Exemptions from the meal break requirement can be found in M.G.L. c. 149, s. 101.
An employee may voluntarily give up a meal break by (1) working through his or her meal break, or (2) remaining on the premises during the break at the request of the employer. However, the employee must be paid for this time.
Praying During Meal Breaks
Employees are allowed to pray during their meal break. The meal break is considered the employee's free time.