Delaware Meal Laws
The United States does not have any federal laws in regards to required mealtime breaks. Because of this thirty-one states do not have required breaks for meals after any period of time. Delaware however has passed a mealtime requirement law at the state level. When an employee works a seven and one half hour or more shift, he or she is entitled under law to a thirty-minute break for a meal. There is one stipulation that does apply: employees must have worked at least two hours prior to taking a meal break and employees must take a meal break at least two hours prior to clocking off.
Some kinds of employees, like teachers, are exempt from this law. Delaware law only covers businesses that have five or more employees on a single shift. Delaware truck drivers are required to take mealtime breaks when traveling long distances, as stated by the Department of Transportation. Similarly restroom breaks are often not mandatory but most businesses and companies allow employees a timely break for necessities.
The Family and Medical Leave Act is an act created at the federal level that requires employers to allow employees to take leave for medical issues and health conditions. This kind of family or health leave can be no longer than twelve weeks and must be used continuously and not broken into several months’ time. The Family and Medical Leave Act requires an employer to provide the employee with his or her same job or a job of equal pay upon return. This kind of leave also includes maternity leave, which allows a mother to bond with her newborn or parents to bond with their recently adopted child.
Medical or family leave is unpaid leave, which means the state of Delaware does not require employers to pay employees during their time of absence. However some employers may choose to create payment plans for leave but are not required to do so. Union contracts and other benefits may allow for extra payment along with protection from termination. Employers are not allowed to terminate a pregnant employee on the grounds of expectancy or necessity for leave. However if a company or business is downsizing or must eliminate employees, pregnant employees and employees on leave are subject to termination, if necessary.
Delaware Overtime and Wages
Delaware, unlike other states, does not have any state law regulating overtime. Thus Delaware claims the federal law for overtime where employees are to be paid time and a half after working forty hours in a single week. Employers are also not required to pay employees for holidays. Employers are not required to give employees time off for holidays nor pay them extra for working a holiday.
The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 states that no state can have a minimum wage below seven dollars and twenty-five cents per hour. The Fair Wage Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and raised the federal minimum wage from five dollars and fifteen cents. As such Delaware raised its minimum wage to the federal minimum.