The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay their non-exempt employees for hours worked. The Department of Labor has a implemented a regulation that states: “Rest periods of short duration, running from 5 minutes to about 20 minutes, are common in industry . . . . They must be counted as hours worked.” 29 C.F.R. § 785.18.
Courts are not bound to follow such agency regulations, but they do afford them some deference.
In Perez v. American Future Systems, Inc. the Eastern District of Pennsylvania adopted the DOL regulation, holding that employers in most circumstances must pay non-exempt employees for breaks not exceeding 20 minutes.