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Are lunch breaks guaranteed to workers in New Jersey?

No matter what industry you work in or the complexity of your work life, you have to eat. As a worker, performing shifts without a break to eat and rest can greatly decrease your ability to deliver quality work and may sink your productivity significantly. However, not all employers are legally required to offer lunch breaks, as counterintuitive as that might be.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there is no federal mandate that requires employers to offer a lunch break of any particular length to employees, although there are laws that restrict how long workers may spend on a particular shift without a break.

Several states enforce their own regulations that require employers to offer lunch breaks to employees, but New Jersey is not currently one of them. If you work in New Jersey, this may mean that you have to get creative to carve out time to rest and fuel a productive shift. If you believe that your employer treats you unfairly, it is always wise to consider the full range of options you have before assuming nothing can be done.

If your employer denies you a lunch break, you may consider what other employers typically offer in your given industry to give weight to your request. It is also useful to consult with professional legal counsel to understand exactly what the laws in New jersey have to say about your circumstances. Once your identify any potential means of moving forward, you can then protect your rights and best interests in your New Jersey workplace.

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