Q. Must we pay a nonexempt employee who voluntarily works through lunch for the time, even though we never requested the extra work?
A. The Fair Labor Standards Act () requires employers to pay an employee for all the time he or she is “suffered or permitted to work.”
An employer may be held liable when an employee voluntarily works through the lunch period if the employer knows or has reason to believe that the employee is working during that time and permits it anyway.
That is often a very lenient standard that is satisfied by the employee establishing a history of such work, or demonstrating the product of such work.