Louisiana Overtime and Meal & Rest Break Laws for Nurses

Louisiana laws do not specifically address mandatory overtime and employees are covered under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA was enacted by Congress to provide guidelines to employers and employees with regard to all aspects of employment issues including mandatory overtime rules. Under the FLSA, employers must provide overtime pay, calculated at time and one-half, for any workweek in which the employee clocks more than 40 hours. In addition, the FLSA does not require that an employer must provide overtime if any individual work day exceeds eight hours as long as the entire workweek does not exceed the 40-hour maximum. A workweek is defined as seven consecutive days including weekends.

Louisiana does not have any state statutes with respect to meal and rest breaks and employers are required to abide by the FLSA with regard to these issues. Unfortunately, the FLSA does not provide for mandatory rest breaks nor does it provide for mandatory meal time breaks. If an employer opts to provide meal breaks, he or she is not required to pay for the meal period and may even require the employee to eat while on duty depending on the nature of the work. In addition, workers must be paid for breaks that are less than 20 minutes in duration.
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