Meal periods are not included as paid work time. Employees are allowed a meal period of at least thirty minutes commencing no less than two hours nor more than five hours from the beginning of the shift. No employee will be required to work more than five consecutive hours without a meal period. Employees are free from work duties during their meal period and are allowed to leave the work area. Employees working three or more hours longer than a normal work day (typically eight hours) will be allowed at least one thirty minute meal period before or during the overtime period.