Georgia Overtime and Meal & Rest Break Laws for Nurses

Georgia does not currently have any legislation or enactments pertaining to state-specific mandatory overtime laws as they pertain to nurses and the medical industry. In any state without specific overtime laws, federal laws will apply as set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This Act provides guidelines for employers with respect to wages and hours and requires that employers must pay nurses time and one-half for work performed in excess of 40 hours in one workweek. Federal standards define a workweek as seven consecutive days, including weekends. Employers may not constantly change and manipulate workweeks so as to avoid paying overtime. Also, employers are not responsible for overtime pay to workers who worker longer than eight hours in one day provided the weekly total does not exceed 40 hours.

Georgia does not provide state guidelines with respect to meal and rest breaks for nurses. If a state does not provide its own labor standards, the FLSA steps in to cover the gaps in protection. Currently, the FLSA does not require employers to provide meal or rest breaks absent an express written agreement between the employer and employee. Employers may require nurses to eat while on duty and are not required to provide any paid or unpaid meal times. If an employer agrees to allow an employee a short personal rest break, generally no longer than 20 minutes, the break must be compensable.
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