Working 12 hours with no break

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Working 12 hours with no break

I’m routinely left at work by myself for an entire shift with no ability to take a break. My boss either leaves early, or chooses not to come in. I cannot leave to get a snack or meal. I do get paid, but I would like to be able to leave the building to get a bottle of water Is this legal in Massachusetts?

Asked on May 26, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In MA, most employers must allow employees to take a 30-minute meal break, if they will work for more than 6 hours. This time is unpaid, unless the employer chooses to pay workers for breaks. If you are required to work through your lunch break, you are entitled to payment for that time, even if you can sneak a sandwich in with your work duties. State law does not require employers to provide rest breaks, either paid or unpaid.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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