A: The Texas Payday Law does not address the issue of rest breaks or meal breaks. There is no current legislation in the state of Texas requiring an employer to provide breaks – they are optional. Work schedules, including breaks, regular hours and overtime hours, are left to the discretion of the employer and are usually based on the needs of the business. However, if breaks are given, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has guidelines on this issue. If “coffee breaks/rest breaks,” consisting of 20 minutes or less are given, they must be paid. They are paid because they are considered to be beneficial to the employer since they generally promote productivity and efficiency on the part of the employee. “Lunch breaks,” defined as a break of 30 minutes or longer for the purpose of eating a meal, where the employee is fully relieved of duties (performing no work), do not have to be paid. For additional information on this topic, you can contact DOL at 1-866-487-2365.