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Student Guide to Employment - Break Policy

When a student is scheduled to work for four hours or more, they are entitled to a break. The chart below details the types of breaks a student may take.

Scheduled to Work
(hours)
Paid Breaks
(15-min)
Unpaid Lunch
(30-min)
 less than 4  -  -
 4-6  (1)  -
 6.5-8*
(2 options)
(1)
(2)
 (1)
-
 8.5+  (2)  (1)

Paid breaks are 15 minutes long and are mandatory for any student employee working over 4 hours in one shift.

Breaks should be scheduled with the student’s supervisor and are meant to provide a break for the student to relax when working extended periods of time, therefore, they cannot be scheduled back-to-back.

Students working long periods of time on the computer (data entry or word processing, etc.) should take a break after every 2 hours.

*Students working 6.5–8 hours in one shift have the option to take an unpaid lunch (30 minutes). If the student and the supervisor agree, the student may take (2) paid 15-minute breaks if they opt to not take the 30-minute lunch break.

Students working over 8 hours must take the unpaid lunch break.

Breaks cannot be combined or “saved” to come in late or leave early.

Special circumstances, should they arise, should be discussed between the student and their supervisor.

Break Waiver

A student may opt to waive their breaks. If an employer allows this option and the student chooses to work through their breaks, they must sign a Break Waiver Form. This form is not submitted to the Office of Student Employment, but is kept on file with the department’s payroll processor in the student’s employment file.


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