Official State of Iowa Website

Breaks for Workers

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not make employers give meal or rest breaks for most adult workers, and neither does Iowa law. 

Federal and state laws set the minimum standards.

You may have an agreement with your employer (either directly or through a union) where your employer has agreed to provide you with additional break periods. 

If employers do provide breaks, short rest breaks (typically 5 to 20 minutes) count as hours worked. Longer meal breaks (typically 30 minutes or more) do not count as hours worked, if the worker does not have to perform any work duties during that break.

Required: Breaks to access clean restrooms. ✔

Federal law requires employers to provide workers with access to clean restrooms as needed.

  • More information on restroom requirements is available from OSHA’s website here.
  • The regulation on restroom availability is 29 C.F.R. section 1910.141.

Required: Breaks to express breast milk. ✔

Federal law also requires employers to give an employee time to express breast milk for their nursing child for one year after the child’s birth.

Ask a Law Librarian

OSHA's Restrooms and Sanitation Requirements


Information for workers who are nursing

Read's Nursing Employees Information Page


Related Pages

Work Law 

Pay for Your Work

Workplace Health and Safety

Unions and Worker Collective Action

The information in the People's Law Library is for informational purposes only. Nothing on this website is legal advice. The law is complicated and many aspects of the law change regularly. Consider reaching out to a lawyer. More information about how to find a lawyer, including free and low-cost options, is available on the Finding a Lawyer page.