Kentucky Work Smoke Break & Rest Period Laws Kentucky Required Workday Break & Meal Periods 2024

Workday Meal Periods:


By Statute and regulation

Workday Rest Periods:


By Statute

Kentucky has extensive regulations providing for mandatory break periods during the workday, including both mandatory meal / lunch periods and one or more shorter rest periods. This page provides details about Kentucky's meal and rest period requirements.

Mandatory Workday Lunch / Meal Breaks in Kentucky

Kentucky requires that employees be allowed a reasonable off-duty period, ordinarily ½ hour but shorter periods permitted under special conditions, between the 3rd and 5th hour of work. The break period will not counted as time worked. Coffee breaks and snack time are not to be included in the meal period.

Which employees are covered by Kentucky's meal period regulations?

Kentucky's meal break law excludes employers subject to the Federal Railway Labor Act. Meal period requirements do not negate collective bargaining agreements or amutual agreement between employer and employee.

Note: Kentucky Has Special Regulations for Minor Employees

In addition to a general regulation requiring meal periods for employees, Kentucky has special regulations that require meal periods for minors under age 18. These regulations, which require more frequent and / or longer meal / break periods, take precedence over the general regulations for minor employees. Learn more about Kentucky's child labor regulations here.

Mandatory Workday Rest Periods in Kentucky

Employees in Kentucky are required to have one paid 10-minute rest period for each 4-hour work period.

Which employees are covered by Kentucky's rest period regulations?

Paid rest period laws exclude employees under the Federal Railway Labor Act.

Additional Rest Period Information

Paid rest periods must be in addition to regularly scheduled meal periods.

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