One thing that many workers look forward to is their lunch breaks. It's an opportunity to not only take a break and eat but it's also an opportunity to recharge and reset for the last half of the work day.

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Most people know that employers must grant their employees meal breaks while at work. According to, it's Massachusetts law that workers have a right to at least a 30-minute meal break for every six hours worked in a calendar day.

Massachusetts Workers Must Surrender All Job Duties During Meal Breaks

During meal breaks Massachusetts workers are supposed to surrender all job duties and they can even leave the job site to take their lunch. It's free time for the employee. In some companies, the meal break is unpaid.

What is the Penalty to the Massachusetts Employer if They Don't Grant The Time for Meal Breaks to Their Employees?

According to a few internet sources, an employer can be fined $300-$600 for denying employees their meal breaks.

Is It Illegal in Massachusetts for an Employee to Skip Their Meal Break and Work Through That Time?

According to, Massachusetts employees can work through their meal times as long as they have an agreement with their employer to do this. If both parties agree and it's a go, the employee will be paid.

The Takeaway for Massachusetts Meal Breaks

No matter where you work in Massachusetts...Boston, Worcester, Cape Cod, the Berkshires, etc. if you work six hours or more, you are entitled to a meal break. You really should take that break as it is your time.

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