Arkansas Maternity Leave Laws
Maternity leave in Arkansas is also known as family leave. Employees are allowed to have twelve consecutive weeks of unpaid leave every year. This leave is not always for just maternity purposes but can also be for medical reasons or family purposes. Under FMLA regulations this allotted time can be used for bonding with an adopted child or for caring for a newly born child.
Regulations also require that upon returning to employment the individual receives his or her former job or a related job of the same salary. A related job must have congruent working conditions and benefits. Women who are on maternity leave or who are pregnant will not be exempt from a layoff due to employee downsizing.
Employers are not required to pay individuals on maternity leave, unless otherwise previously agreed upon or stated in a benefits package. Most of the time both a mother and father may be subject to maternity leave.
Arkansas Labor Law Breaks
Minors under the age of sixteen are eligible for breaks when working in the entertainment industry. Arkansas, however, does not require employers to provide adult workers over eighteen years of age to have lunch breaks or coffee breaks. State laws and federal laws do not make this a requirement. The Arkansas Department of Labor does suggest breaks for a maximum of twenty minutes in most industries to elevate efficiency in the workplace.
Minimum wage laws through the state and federal laws require that breaks in short periods be paid breaks. Overtime laws also require breaks to be paid. Nevertheless, these breaks are not mandatory and are on a voluntary basis. Employers are not required to pay employees for voluntary breaks if the breaks exceed the time limit.
In general, meal breaks are in thirty-minute time periods and are normally not paid as stated in Arkansas break laws and lunch laws. Laws require that the individual on a meal break be fully relieved from his or her duty while breaking. If any kind of work is completed during the meal break, the employee is to be paid for that time. Restroom breaks are not mandatory, but the law requires restrooms to be easily accessible. Employees are to be allowed time periods to use the provided restrooms.
There is a specific lactation break law in the state. Employers are required to give lactating workers an appropriate amount of unpaid break time. The location of these breaks must be private and convenient to their work area (not a bathroom stall).
Arkansas Employee Wages
Arkansas law states that employees who are tipped on a regular basis are not required to be paid Arkansas minimum wage. Employees are not required to share any tips with a manager who receives a salary and are thus entitled to every portion of their tips. The minimum amount that a tipped employee can be paid is forty-three percent of Arkansas’ minimum wage, or two dollars and sixty-three cents as stated by the United States Department of Labor.
All combined tips must be more than thirty dollars a month in order for an employer to pay an employee less than minimum wage. Tip pooling is allowed at certain establishments where employees share a pre-set tip percentage each day of work. Tip pooling is common with bus drivers, bellhops, bartenders, and servers.