Over half of U.S. workers take a 30-minute lunch break, according to a 2019 Quickbooks Time survey. Another 25% report taking 60-minute breaks, while 12% say they take only 15 minutes. 3% don’t take lunch breaks at all. The average lunch break for Americans is about 36 minutes.
Unfortunately, many American workers aren’t guaranteed a lunch break. Some businesses might offer breaks as a benefit, but knowing what counts as a paid or unpaid break can be tricky. Plus, “working lunches” can add a layer of complication.
Understanding break laws can help business owners stay out of legal trouble. To help clarify federal rest and lunch break laws and explain the consequences of noncompliance, we asked the experts to weigh in.1