If you work more than five hours per day, you are entitled to a lunch break (or meal period or rest period) of at least 30 minutes. If you work 10 hours in a day, you are entitled to another 30 minute lunch break.
If you are allowed to leave your place of work and you are relieved of all duties you have during that break, you are not entitled to be paid for that time. If you are not allowed to leave the premises during lunch breaks, the break counts as time worked for overtime purposes, even if you are relieved of all work duties.
If you employer does not give you your lunch break, you have a right to be paid for one additional hour of pay at your regular rate for each time the lunch break was not given to you.
Even if you are part of a collective bargaining agreement, your union cannot waive your right to a lunch break.
The law protects you if your employer decides to retaliate against you by firing you or otherwise discriminating against you after you have alerted your employer of your desire to have a lunch break and be reimbursed for lunch breaks you have not been given.
If you believe that you are not getting overtime wages when you should use our detailed Overtime Compensation Question form to send us a detailed question about your overtime situation.