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Refresh yourself on the rules on employee breaks and exporting

Q] What is the law regarding
breaks and meal periods?

A] An employee who is to work 7 1/2 continuous hours or more shall be provided an unpaid meal period of at least 20 minutes. The meal period must be given to an employee no later than five hours after beginning work. Illinois has no law regarding breaks.

Q] Where can I obtain state of Illinois
required postings?

A] Illinois Department of Labor, Fair Labor Standards Division, 160 N. LaSalle St., Suite C-1300, Chicago, IL 60601, (312) 793-2800 or

Q] Can my employer require me to work
seven days in a row?

A] The One Day Rest in Seven Act, as its name implies, allows for at least 24 hours of rest in every calendar week. A calendar week is defined as seven consecutive 24 hour periods starting at 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning and ending at midnight the following Saturday.

Under this Act, employers may ask Illinois Department of Labor for a relaxation of this requirement. If IDOL grants a relaxation, it requires a statement from the employer demonstrating that all employees who will be working seven days in a row are, in fact, volunteers.

Q] Do I need a license to export?

A] Only a limited number of products or destinations require an exporter to get a written or validated license from the Bureau of Industry and Security, an agency of the U.S. Federal Government.

A validated license is necessary when exporting high technology, software with encryption capabilities, defense-related, or dual-use (both military and civilian) products or when exporting to countries under a U.S. trade embargo or other trade restrictions.

The State of Illinois does not require a special permit or license to establish an import/export business.

For more information on the One Day Rest in Seven Act, call
(312) 793-2804.

More information on export licenses is available from the Bureau of Industry and Security at

- Phyllis Davis is a Career Development Specialist based in Champaign for the Illinois Employment Training Center. She can be reached at (217) 278-5700, ext. 237, or