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Forced to take breaks!!!Please help!! Florida

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  • Forced to take breaks!!!Please help!! Florida

    I know that there are no laws in Florida that require employees to take or not take breaks. But I work about 30 -35 hours a week. I also go to school so on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays I only work 5 hours on these days-I work sitting down so I really don't feel the need for a break a lot of the times. My employer ( Or Satan's daughter) sent me a nasty e-mail today saying that if I dont start punchin out for breaks she will re arrange my hours herself and will punch me out for half an hour each day- even on the days that I only work 5 hours. Is this legal?If I work less than 30 hours I will lose my medical Insurance. and when I was hired I was promised 35 hours a week.

  • #2
    The fact that Florida law does not require employers to provide breaks does not mean that the employee gets to decide for themselves. It is entirely legal for an employer to mandate that you take a break even though the law does not require it.

    Under Federal law, breaks of under 20 minutes have to be paid breaks. And if you do not take a break you have to be paid for the time. However, it IS legal for them to require you to take a break and it IS legal for them to fire you for not doing so.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      Sorry, but if the employer requires meal breaks, you take them or face the risk of being disciplined for not doing so. You must, however, be paid for all hours you work and you can be disciplined in any other way, including termination, except the discipline cannot include withholding pay for hours worked. The employer is not required to take your school schedule into consideration.

      BTW, we get a lot of posts here the other way, employees complaining that the employer does not provide meal or rest breaks, especially when the law does not require them to (as in Florida).
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


      • #4
        Sign Docs?

        Ok, I understand that.I'm not asking her to accomodate to my school schedule (my GM approved it way before she started working here) But I've been working for the company for about a year and it wasn't until this new manager started ( which I believe her reasons are more personal that business related...) that i have to face this new rule. I never signed any documents when I got hired that stated that I have to take a break even if I don't need one. I never had this problem since I started working here.This breaks are really cutting down my hours and are really making a difference in my paychecks.


        • #5
          It doesn't matter whether you signed anything at hire about breaks or not. It doesn't matter whether it's personal or not. The employer, not you, decides what hours you work, and that includes breaks.

          Unless you have a CBA or a bona fide, enforceable contract that specifies that it's up to you whether you take breaks or not, your employer has the right to require them.
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


          • #6
            Thanks for your more thing!!!

            Thanks for your answer...I guess there is nothing much I can do..I do have one more unresolved issue though. She said(My manager) that is required by the state for me to take a break every 5 hours..This is false right?? MAybe there is a company policy that sates this but If such company policy exists does it have to apply to every employee..not JUST me?? I work at a hotel as an event coordinator. I'm the only one that holds this title so there is really no one else to compare me to..I'd like to speak to my GM about this issue but before connfronting him I want to be informed enough to defend myself and explain my reasons ( He was the one who promised 35 hours a week and has never had a problem with my breaks). Thanks!


            • #7
              There is no general state law requiring a break every five hours, no. But she is by no means the first person I have heard of who believes that Florida has such a law, so there may be something in public employment or that is standard in union contract in the area that leads her to believe it.

              Also, some industries require breaks at particular times; your job would NOT be one of them but it's possible she has worked with industries that do.

              Or she may just be making it up.

              In any case, if you can work it out with the GM, fine. But there are NO laws being violated.

              Don't expect her to be happy with your going over her head.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


              The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.