Saint Louis University

Break and Meal Periods Policy


Break and Meal Periods Policy

Procedure Number: Version Number: 3
Classification: Effective Date: 8/10/2012
Responsible University Official: Vice President Human Resources


Break and meal periods are intended to give an employee a chance to renew attention and energy after working for an extensive period so that he or she can remain productive and efficient in performing assigned tasks.


This policy clarifies the time allotments and requirements for scheduling meals and breaks for non-except employees under the Fair Labor and Standards Act.


This policy applies to all non-exempt employees of Saint Louis University with the exception of employees in a collective bargaining unit or employees of the Madrid campus.


Not Applicable



The University generally provides the opportunity for an unpaid meal period of no less than 30 minutes for all shifts of more than seven hours. The actual time and length of the meal period will be scheduled by the supervisor. Meal periods are considered personal time, and employees are encouraged to leave the immediate work area in order to eat and relax. Time spent during the meal period is not considered work time for pay purposes unless specifically designated as a work period.

Breaks are considered time worked. Most jobs do not require or lend themselves to scheduled breaks, since employees are allowed to take a break when the need arises as work permits. Breaks may be scheduled, if necessary, due to the nature of a particular job which does not permit the opportunity for employee discretion or flexibility. Break time, whether scheduled or flexible, should not exceed 15 minutes in any four-hour work period. Breaks cannot be accumulated or saved. The intended purpose would not be fulfilled if they were not taken at the appropriate intervals; therefore, breaks may not be used to compensate for absences such as arriving late or leaving work early, or to extend meal periods.

Occasionally, due to operating requirements, supervisors may need to temporarily modify break and meal periods.


Department managers are responsible for scheduling and monitoring lunch and break periods.


Not applicable


Overtime Policy
Time Reporting Policy

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