Most employers give their workers proper breaks just to keep up morale and to allow the workers to rest before getting back to the job at hand. But what if they don’t? What if they deny you a break and force you to keep working? Is that illegal?
Most employees typically get 30 minutes (unpaid) to eat lunch under Florida labor laws. While there are some exceptions, this probably applies to you.
On top of that, most employees get short breaks that are 15 minutes long. They may use them as a smoke break, for instance, or a chance to eat a snack.
The above applies to people who work for eight hours at a time. If you work fewer than six hours in one stretch, then you may still get your short, paid break, but you do not get the unpaid lunch break for 30 minutes.
Younger workers have some special rules. Those who are minors — under 18 years old — get a 30-minute break twice as often, taking it for every four hours on the job. That said, those who are still in high school and who are already 18 years old do not qualify for these frequent breaks. Even though they still go to school, the law counts them as adults, and they get the standard breaks described above.
So, do you think that your employer has violated your rights by denying you the breaks that the law requires? If so, it is important for you to understand the legal steps you can take and the options you have.