ALERT: New hospital meal, rest break requirements, other staffing policies to take effect

June 27, 2024

The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) recently published a new administrative policy on uninterrupted meal and rest breaks for acute care hospitals. As of July 1, the new law expands application of the uninterrupted meal and rest breaks law to additional hospital employees. Additionally, this week, the Department of Health (DOH) published its revised interpretive statement on establishing hospital staffing committees.

The administrative policy on meal and rest breaks establishes guidelines for payment to employees for missed, interrupted or untimely meal and rest periods. The administrative policy also offers details on what defines a meal break and rest period, what the allowed waivers are and what the ability is for certain employees to combine meal and rest periods.

L&I also published an updated version of its administrative policy on the prohibition of mandatory overtime for certain hospital employees. Hospitals can sign up for L&I’s Healthcare Labor Standards email list to receive notices from L&I on hospital-specific policies.

WSHA is continuing conversations with L&I and DOH and recommends all hospitals review the policies closely to understand your hospital’s obligations. We are here to support members in understanding and implementing these new policies. For additional information, please contact Ashlen Strong. (Ashlen Strong)


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