Meal and Rest Periods: Can Employer Require Employee Stay on Site?


The simple answer is generally “no,” with some limited exceptions. Employers can require employees to take on-duty meal periods only certain situations. An employer must meet all of the following requirements in order to qualify for an on-duty meal exemption:

  • On-duty meals are permitted only where the nature of the work prevents an employee from being relieved of all duty.
  • The agreement in which the employee agrees to waive his or her right to take their meal period off-site must be agreed to in writing by the employer and the employee.
  • The on-site meal period must be paid.
  • The on-site meal period agreement can be revoked though I guess that’s fine of at any time in writing by the employee