How do you do break times?


LawnSite Member
Hudson, OH
We have a small to medium size lawn care operations. It is husband/wife owned and over the years we have grown. We now have 4 employees that work either part- or full-time. I wanted to get information on how others in similar situations handle "break-times"? For instance:

- Do you make them take a mandatory 15 minute break and deduct their pay?
- Do you just deduct 15 mintues for down time throughout the work day?
- Do you pay them if they start at 7:30 and work through 5 PM? Assumming no break times?

Right now, we are on the honor system and they write down if they take a break or not. Since I do the payroll each week, I can say it is few and far between when anyone is writing down a break.

I would like some thoughts because I know that there is some cost I would like to take out.



LawnSite Bronze Member
Vancouver Canada
Check your labour code. Our employment standards here state that we only have to give a half hour for lunch, without pay....within five hours of starting a shift.
We do not have to allow time for breaks. We do not have to pay for breaks.

Now, if some-one has to pee I have no problem with them ducking behind a tree.
If they have to leave the sites too often for other things, then I get annoyed.

I caught one guy who claimed he had an upset stomach in the pub, quickly drinking two Canadian beers. Bye bye!

Usually at the start of the season, people will have stomach problems while they adjust to the new work regiments. It stabilizes within a week or two.
Last edited:


LawnSite Fanatic
my understanding is in the US, you do not have to give breaks but if you do then they are paid and the time counts toward OT calculations.

Lunch is mandatory but not paid.