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working "off the clock" Florida

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  • working "off the clock" Florida

    I actually have 2 questions.

    1. Is there any legal prohibition in relation to an employer in the state of florida requiring an employee to work while "off the clock"

    For example, a manager schedules a MANDATORY meeting, and then requires that the employees attending the meeting clock out BEFORE arriving at the office for the meeting. Therefore, requiring participation in a work related activity while not being paid.

    2. My current employer deducts 30 min of pay per day for lunch, regaurdless as to whether the employee actually takes a lunch or not. It is my understanding that if we do not clock out for lunch then we should be paid for that time. However, we can be disciplined IF it is company policy that all employees take a 30 min break for lunch.

    Somewhat in thier defense, this is a pest control company and we spend a good deal of time on the road going from appointment to appointment. However, there is no written policy requiring a 30 min lunch break.

    The defense that they use when questioned is "tell me exactly what you did all day long and I gaurentee(sp?) that I can find 30 min when you weren't actually working".

  • #2
    Assuming you're a nonexempt employee, you must be paid for all time worked. Driving from job site to job site is work time. So is a mandatory meeting. Any break of 20 minutes or less is not a bona fide meal break under the FLSA and therefore must be paid. It's not the "clocking in and out" that is the issue; the issue is pay for time worked.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      Agreed. The "law" on this issue are the following federal DOL regulations.

      29 CFR 785.27 - General.
      Attendance at lectures, meetings, training programs and similar activities need not be counted as working time if the following four criteria are met:
      (a) Attendance is outside of the employee's regular working hours;
      (b) Attendance is in fact voluntary;
      (c) The course, lecture, or meeting is not directly related to the employee's job; and
      (d) The employee does not perform any productive work during such attendance.

      29 CFR 785.28 - Involuntary attendance.
      Attendance is not voluntary, of course, if it is required by the employer. It is not voluntary in fact if the employee is given to understand or led to believe that his present working conditions or the continuance of his employment would be adversely affected by nonattendance.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


      • #4
        29 CFR 785.28 - Involuntary attendance.

        Can you please list the rest of this mandate?


        • #5
          That's it.

          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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          • #6
            30 minute lunch

            I'm not an attorney, by in my management/consulting experience in Florida I have learned that by law they are required to give you 30 minutes off (lunch) when your working more than I think 4 or 6 hours per day/shift. The demand made by employers who have crews such as yourself, (non-exempt, hourly type employees driving around meeting schedules) is that you are responsible for taking a 30 minute lunch, and you are not authorized to skip it or perform work beyond of your regularly scheduled work hours. So then it becomes a matter of who sets your schedule and can you meet both requirements. (realistic expectations?)


            • #7
              There is no Florida or Federal law requiring a lunch break of any kind for adult employees, regardless of the length of shift. If you have evidence otherwise, please post a link to that law.
              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.


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