What Does Florida Labor Law Say About Lunches and Breaks?

Florida doesn’t require employers to furnish adult employees with lunch breaks or break times during a work day, according to Nolo. If employers do give time away from the job during the day, any breaks between five and 20 minutes must be paid, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Breaks longer than 20 minutes are unpaid breaks, such 30-minute or one-hour lunches.

Florida’s general labor law provides for a “legal work day,” which is 10 hours of work in one day, unless an employee signs a contract requiring more or fewer working hours each day. If someone works more than 10 hours, that person deserves extra pay for doing more work, unless the employment contract states otherwise, according to Nolo.

Florida law does give workers age 17 or younger a 30-minute meal break for four hours of continuous work, according to Nolo. Any break period less than 30 minutes is not considered an interruption of work under this law. Per federal law, these 30-minute breaks don’t have to be paid.

Laws pertaining to breaks at work are governed by individual states. Federal law only specifies what breaks must be paid or unpaid, and 20 states have laws providing for regular breaks and meal breaks, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Some states, including Florida, have specific laws for breaks for minors.