Wisconsin Overtime and Meal & Rest Break Laws for Nurses

Wisconsin law provides overtime laws for a select handful of industries- none of which involves nursing or the medical industry. As such, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) fills in any statutory gaps pertaining to labor and employment issues. The FLSA requires mandatory overtime pay for employees working greater than 40 hours within seven consecutive days. Employees working excessive hours on one given day are not entitled to overtime pay assuming the weekly total does not exceed 40 hours.

Under the Wisconsin Administrative Code section DWD 274.02, employers are recommended to provide 30-minute meal breaks close to usual meal times or near the middle of a shift. Shifts of more than 6 hours without a meal break should be avoided. If an employee is not free to leave the workplace, the meal period is to be considered paid time. These provisions are recommendations but not requirements under current Wisconsin law.
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