The phrase “nine to five” has for years been proverbial for the ordinary eight-hour working day. However, I don’t think I’ve ever had a job where the hours were actually from 9 to 5. I don’t know of any employer that pays you for your lunch break. If you take a half hour for lunch, you have to stay at work another half hour to make it eight hours. You have to work either from 8:30 to 5:00, or from 9:00 to 5:30. I think there are some places that only pay you for seven and a half hours, and you stay there from 9 to 5. But I haven’t seen any seven-and-a-half hour job lately; I don’t know if anyone still does that.
My question is: Was there ever a time in America, after the eight-hour working day legislation, when people actually worked 9 to 5 and got paid for a full 8 hours, including lunch? If so, how long ago must that have been? Is there anyplace nowadays where this is still done?