Arizona Law on Employee Lunch Breaks


Arizona employees wondering whether they have the right to an employee lunch break should know the following are true:

  • Federal law does not require employers to provide employee lunch breaks or rest periods
  • Likewise, Arizona law does not require employers to provide lunch breaks or rest periods
  • The lack of a legal requirement to provide lunch breaks holds true for both salaried and “by the hour” employees

This does not mean, however, that an Arizona employee has no rights related to work breaks.

Even though Arizona has no specific lunch break laws, federal regulations exist that are applicable to Arizona employees.

Federal law says that:

  • Short breaks — 20 minutes or fewer — should be counted as work time
  • Breaks of 30 minutes or longer may be counted as “meal” breaks, which do not need to be treated as paid work time
  • Even breaks in excess of 30 minutes may require treatment as paid work time if the employee is required to do any work-related task (including minor tasks)

In short, while Arizona employees cannot expect a lunch break as a legal right, the lack of a genuine lunch break can lead to additional compensation for an Arizona employee.

If you have any questions about your legal rights as an Arizona employee or believe your rights have been violated, discuss your concerns with an Arizona employment lawyer.

Find our more about Arizona’s new sick leave law.