I started at the company I'm at now about 2.5 years ago. I was told via email I get an hour lunch. I asked, via email, if I needed to take the whole hour for lunch. (I assumed it was an unpaid lunch.) They told me I did not have to take the full hour.
There are two people in my department: me and another. I was told by this other person (who is not a manager) that the company culture is to work 42 hours per week. So I started working that amount of hours plus my lunch break.
A few weeks later, I was told by this person that I had a paid lunch and did not have to work so many extra hours.
Two years later
I find out all the other engineers (other departments), only have a half hour lunch. They are in a different building. They also are expected to work 45 hours per week. At this point, I emailed HR asking if my lunch was paid or unpaid. I attached the original email that said I have an hour lunch.
They tell me my lunch is paid. (I do not think they read the attachment.) Around this time, we also have a meeting with all the engineers to talk about it. They tell us that we all have a paid lunch and are expected to work 45 hours/week.
Again, all the other engineers have a 30 minute lunch. I did not bring up how I am entitled to an hour lunch at that meeting. However, now I wonder since it was announced at the meeting... the actual company culture is to work 45 hours/week (not 42).
My manager just changed, and now all the engineers are under this one manager. Should I start working 45 hours now? Also, if this matters, I started looking for another job. I just want a larger pay bump than my average 5% annual raise.