Rest and Meal Breaks and Leaving Work Areas Policy

Policy #: 
HRC 503.004
Executive Owner: 
Director Human Resources

This policy applies to all AdventHealth University (AHU) employees.


The purpose of this policy is to provide a policy for all employees regarding rest breaks, meal breaks, and leaving work areas, as well as assisting employees in achieving work/life balance.


Rest Breaks

  • Paid rest breaks may be authorized by departments for some positions to provide brief periods of relaxation and to promote greater efficiency. This period is not to exceed fifteen minutes per four-hour shift.
  • Employees are required to notify their supervisor (or designees) of their departure for rest breaks, and of their return to the department.
  • Rest break periods will not be scheduled immediately at the start or at the end of work days, or immediately preceding or immediately following meal periods
  • Rest breaks are an employee benefit. This means employees will be paid for the break although they do not work. If an employee is unable to take a break, no additional compensation will be paid.
  • Hourly employees who leave the campus during a rest break are required to clock out when they leave and clock in when they return to duty.
  • Supervisors encourage and support all employees to utilize breaks for recovery or physical activity. Supervisors are encouraged to arrange opportunities for employee physical activity while assuring that the primary work of their department is accomplished.
  • Supervisors may build physical activity and recovery breaks into meetings, conferences and events such as stretch breaks or walking breaks.


Meal Breaks

  • Whenever possible, employees should be provided an uninterrupted meal break.
  • Automatic deduction of meal breaks from hours worked by hourly employees is not a current AHU standard.
  • It is the responsibility of hourly employees to clock in/out for meal breaks and confirm that hours worked are accurate and complete.
  • Employees are to take a 30-minute lunch break and are encouraged to take the meal break away from their work area whenever they will be working 6 consecutive hours.
  • Employees that frequently fail to clock out/in as required for meal breaks may be subject to disciplinary action.
  • Hourly employees are to be relieved from duty while on meal breaks and are not to engage in any work. If an employee is unable to cease performing his/her duties and a scheduled meal break cannot be taken, employees will be compensated for the additional time worked. The employee must notify his/her supervisor.
  • Committee chairs and managers should try to schedule their meetings, so the meetings are not lunch meetings, so employees are allowed to take their lunch break and have a rest from work.
  • Meal Breaks are not to be taken immediately at the start or at the end of work days. Neither is a meal break to be used to account for staff’s late arrival, early departure, or to cover time off for other purposes.


Leaving work areas

  • Employees leaving work areas for meal breaks, or for duties included as part of their job descriptions, are to notify their supervisor (or designees) of the fact that they will be away from their work area.


CommitteeDate VotedMinutes Code
President's CouncilMonday, June 27, 201616:62
Approved by: 
Approval Date: 
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Effective Date: 
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Review Date: 
Monday, March 18, 2019
Wednesday, March 2, 2022