As of 2015, lunch breaks lasting longer than 30 minutes are not considered work time and are not compensable, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Furthermore, federal labor law does not require employers to provide lunch breaks for employees.
Although the Fair Labor Standards Act does not require employers to give employees meal breaks, if the employee is not completely relieved from duty for the purposes of eating, or the meal period is less than 30 minutes, the employee must be compensated, explains Workplace Fairness. Many states have statutory requirements mandating that employers give employees meal breaks. Furthermore, labor contracts established through collective bargaining and state labor regulations can require employers to provide lunch breaks.