10-17-2007, 05:50 PM
Ok I'm new to this kind of thing.
My question is that when your a full time employee and you get paid salary and you work from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM and get an hour break, is it legal for the employer to take your break away for a meeting?
I know that there is no law in florida that requires an adult to have a lunch break and I know that if I was hourly and they didnt pay me for the hour of the meeting it is illegal....
But since I'm salary, is that considered me as getting paid for the 9 hours a day I work whether or not I get an hour break?
"Salary" and "hourly" are just payment methods that do not mean much by themselves. We need to know if you are Exempt (no right to paid overtime) or Non-Exempt (right to paid overtime for hours worked past 40 in the work week).
10-17-2007, 07:45 PM
If you are exempt, then yes, they can make you work through lunch and not pay you any more money. It is no different than if you stayed an hour later to finish up a project. Since Florida does not require breaks at all, your employer does not have to give you one by law.
I am not expert on FL, so this will be a "soft" answer. However even very employee friendly states like CA tend to make their meal and break rules something that mostly applies to Non-Exempt employees. And FL is generally considered to be the most employer friendly state in the country. They even got rid of their state DOL a few back. Presumably they felt that since no FL employer had ever treated an employee illegally, there was no reason (or possibility) for employees to file wage claims. Perhaps someone who knows more about FL can give you a better answer.
I can say that under federal law, Exempt Salaried employees never a right to paid overtime, even if they work 168 hour weeks (24x7). Under federal law, no employee has a right to lunch or breaks. Federal DOL maintains a chart on state lunch/break rules, and federal DOL does not think that FL has such rules.
As an exempt employee, your salary covers all the time you work, no matter how much or how little.
Since neither Florida nor Federal law requires that you receive any break at all, let alone an hour one, no laws are violated if your break is instead filled by a meeting.