What’s the policy on lunch breaks?
There is no explicit entitlement in law to a meal period. Each agency has the authority to establish its own requirements and may require or permit unpaid meal periods during overtime hours, and the policy may be different from the one for the basic workweek.

Unpaid meal periods must provide bona fide breaks in the workday. If you are not excused from job duties, or are recalled to job duties, you are entitled to pay for compensable work that is not minimal in nature. However, an agency may restrict employees to a limited area (such as a secure government building or military installation) while in an on-call status during a meal period without creating an entitlement to pay for the meal period.

Separate policies apply to part-time employees and to employees on extended work shifts such as firefighters.

2020 Digital Almanac

Stay Connected

Latest Forum Posts

Ask the Expert

Have a question regarding your federal employee benefits or retirement?

Submit a question