Many office workers are entitled to overtime compensation under federal and/or state law. These workers will often be suffered or permitted to work during all or a portion of their unpaid meal periods. The law does not permit  workers to volunteer to work overtime; if the employer allows an employee to work, it must pay him or her for it. If an employee works through a portion of his unpaid meal period, he or she is entitled to be paid for it.  For example, if an employee has a 60 minute unpaid meal period and he or she works for 30 minutes of the meal period, the employee is entitled under the law to be paid for 30 minutes of additional work.