Under the Federal Laws of the United States, the government, through the Department of Labor, has not enacted any laws that require breaks during a work shift. There is only one regulation applicable on breaks which is when an employee is cheated of his overtime wages as a result of a short, unpaid snack break.
This is also observed in the State of Florida. Technically, the U.S. Department of Labor does not have any policy on 30-minute lunch breaks, since they are not considered as working time. Employers are generally not required by law to pay for short lunch breaks. This is observed in all other states unless it has been the practice of the employer to pay for such lunch break. In Florida, employers usually allowed 30-minute lunch breaks for their employees which are working on a 6 to 8 hours shift.
There are also coffee or snack breaks which usually lasts for at least five to twenty minutes and are often taken when the employee is working, for example, when a worker takes a snack while working at her desk. The taking of a coffee break or a snack break may raise issues with the employer since it may affect the work of the employees. Another issue is when the 15-minute break prolongs the working hours of the employee making the employer liable to pay overtime work for which the employee is entitled to under the U.S. Federal Labor Laws.
Under Florida Labor Laws, employees are usually allowed with a 30-minute lunch break and 15 minute short breaks. This is applicable to employees who work in an 8-hour shift. Those who work under 6 hours, they are entitled to a paid break, but not a 30-minute unpaid break.
In the state of Florida, employees who are under the age of 18 are entitled to have a 30-minute unpaid break for every 4 hours of work. However, this does not apply to 18-year-old employees who are still in high school.
States Which Require Breaks During Work
Employers, under federal government laws, are not required to give lunch breaks. Each state may decide whether or not they would like to make such lunch breaks mandatory. This is also applied in the State of Florida. At present, there are 19 states which require lunch breaks. They include:
- New York
- West Virginia
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- Washington D.C
For more information on labor laws, check out Labor Law.