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HCL Administrative Policy


Section: HR3

Release Date: April 1998

Replaces Issue Dated: December 1980

Responsibility: Human Resources



Hennepin County HR Rule 12.1 and labor agreements allow employees two 15-minute breaks in an eight-hour work shift. This same provision is made in the Library’s Personnel Policy 3.6 in Section IV. There is no specific provision for part-time employees, but present interpretation of this policy is that one 15-minute break is allowed anyone who works at least four consecutive hours in a shift.

A shift that consists of less than four hours does not currently entitle a part-time employee to a break. A shift that consists of more than four hours, but is not a full 8-hour day, does not entitle the part-time employee to more than one 15-minute break. It is present practice in many agencies to allow persons working less than a four-hour shift to take a 10- or 15-minute break on their own time, particularly during the evening.

Rest breaks are not considered a benefit and there is no provision for them in State law. They are intended to increase an employee’s efficiency and, therefore, may not be taken at the beginning or end of a work shift. They may not be accumulated in any fashion if not taken during the work shift.

Supervisors may require employees to take their breaks on a schedule, and, in unusual situations, the demands of a job may require that no formal break be taken during a given shift.

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