McDonald’s Break Policy (All You Need To Know)

McDonald’s has about 200,000 employees in the United States and has specific crew member policies that are meant to protect the workers both on a state and federal level.

McDonald’s break policy is meant to protect the workers and the company while maintaining a safe environment. ’ll tell you everything you need to know about McDonald’s break policy, so keep reading!

What Is McDonald’s Break Policy?

McDonald’s break policy is that you’re given an unpaid 30-minute meal break if you’ve worked more than 3.5 hours. However, all 10-minute rest breaks are paid breaks for every 4 hours you’ve worked, but you have to stay on the premises. Additionally, if you’re asked to clock in early on a meal break, you’ll get another 30-minute meal break at a later time.

To learn more about the McDonald’s break policy and what entitlements minors get, read more below!

What are the Different Break Policies at McDonald’s?

McDonald’s offers two different types of breaks, with one being a 30-minute unpaid meal break and the other being a 10-minute paid rest break, which is found in the employee handbook.

You can take your 30-minute unpaid meal break once you’ve been working for more than 3.5 hours, and when you’re asked to take a meal break, you must clock out before starting.

However, McDonald’s enforces a strict policy for minors where they must take breaks if they are working more than 4.5 hours!

There might be times when you’ve been asked to clock back in early from a meal break, and when this happens, you’ll get another 30-minute break when it’s doable.

If your first meal break was less than 15 minutes, you’ll get paid for it!

Furthermore, the 10-minute paid rest breaks are given to anyone working 4 or 5-hour shifts or longer.

McDonald’s Employee Meal Policy

McDonald’s has an Employee Meal Policy, which allows you to get 50% off your meal during your 30-minute meal break.

Once you’ve clocked out, you can order your food like a regular customer, and the manager typically takes the order to input the employee discount.

On top of that, there is a specific location where you’re supposed to eat your food, which is on the premises, and no food can leave the specific areas designated for employee meals.

You are entitled to a meal that’s $8 or less on the menu every time you work, which means you pay only up to $4 for your meal.

Does McDonald’s Pay for Your Lunch Break?

Unfortunately, all lunch or dinner breaks are unpaid, which is a result of the Department of Labor’s Federal Policy when it comes to meal breaks.

Under federal guidelines, all meal breaks have to result in the employee being relieved of all work duties for that time, thus making it unpaid since you can’t work.

How Many Breaks Do You Get for an 8-Hour Shift at McDonald’s?

How Many Breaks Do You Get for An 8-Hour Shift at McDonald’s?

For every 4 hours you’ve worked, you’ll get a 10-minute paid rest break, so for an 8-hour shift, you’ll get 2 paid rest breaks!

Further, for the paid rest breaks, you must remain on the premises and cannot be outside of the assigned areas for paid breaks.

Additionally, you’ll get a 30-minute unpaid meal break, and you’re allowed to leave the premises during these meal breaks, but you must be back by the time your break is over!

What’s the Break Policy for Minors at McDonald’s?

Anyone under the age of 18 is considered a minor under state law, which means rules regarding breaks are set by the state government, and McDonald’s strictly follows the law.

Furthermore, at McDonald’s, a minor must take a 30-minute meal break when working more than 4.5 hours, with the break happening before the first 4.5 hours of a shift.

The meal break will be unpaid as long as it’s more than 15 minutes per McDonald’s rules.

Can You Skip Meal Breaks at McDonald’s?

Unfortunately, you cannot skip meal breaks at McDonald’s, and you’re eligible to take a meal break once you’ve worked 3.5 hours.

Break policies are enforced at McDonald’s to ensure the safety of the employees and customers, so there’s no skipping a meal break.

However, there might be times when you’re asked to clock back in, such as if there’s a lunch or dinner rush, and if that happens, you’ll be given another meal break when it’s calmer.

You also cannot have a rest break within 10 minutes of you starting or ending your shift at McDonald’s, so they need to be taken at intervals during your shift.

To find out more about McDonald’s policy, you can also read our posts on whether or not you need a resume for McDonald’s, if it is easy to get a job at McDonald’s, and if McDonald’s pays weekly.

You may also be interested to read up on McDonald’s transfer and termination policies

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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