The subject of lunch breaks came up in discussion last week around the radio station as employees were planning their upcoming days' events and summer vacation, etc.

For the most part, salaried employees in the State of Massachusetts work the standard 40 hours, you know, 8 hours Monday through Friday.

More often that not, however, it can be misunderstood if and when lunch breaks are paid or unpaid. Like, am I stealing time if I only put in a 7.5 hour day and skip lunch?

Close-up of a woman eating a hamburger

I was always under the assumption that the 8 hour work day included an hour for lunch, as in the actual work week was 35 hours and the rest was for lunch. 😂😁

Red retro clock showing 09:00 am or pm

Well, I was mostly wrong. How does that "King Of Wishful Thinking" song go, again?


It includes a lunch, yes, it has too. If you work more than six hours in a day in Massachusetts, you are due a 30 minute lunch break. Is it paid? Um, unfortunately not.

My boss and I actually just got into a little fight over the rules recently.

In Massachusetts, most employers are required to provide a 30-minute meal break to employees who work more than six hours in a single day. This meal break does not have to be paid, and most often is unpaid.

So, if you wanna skip lunch, that's on you; however, you cannot sneak out 7.5 hours into the day. Technically you are being paid to work 40 hours.

With that being said, all companies are different regarding salaried employees, some are less strict than others. Employers are required to give you a 30 minute lunch break after six hours, but that is far more often than not, unpaid.

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