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First Post - Need some help (Florida) Florida

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  • First Post - Need some help (Florida) Florida

    Well this seems like the place my get some answers to my recent issues with my employer so here goes.......

    So my employer who has had me a salaried employee (but will not define if i am exempt or not ) recently dropped a bomb on the entire salaried portion of the company. We were recently told in a meeting that we will not be given ANY paid days off, sick or otherwise. Additionally anytime not "worked" will not be paid to us. When i was hired he verbally agreed with me that i would have a guaranteed 40 hours no matter what. I tried to lock him into paper contract saying that, but unfortunately did not receive anything physical to date or prior to this meeting.

    Additionally we were told that if we miss our break times we can not have a break at all. Isn't it required regardless that we / I get 2 15 minute breaks per 8 hours worked? Also in addition to that he reduced our lunch time from 1 hour to a half hour.

    Can a Florida employer not offer any compensated time? i.e. sick time atleast
    If i work a 8 hour day, am i not guaranteed a 1 hour lunch and 2 15 minute breaks?
    Lastly if i miss the scheduled break times (due to being on the phone making them money) can they tell me i can not take a break?

    Any help is appreciated. There is more but i want these answers first. Sadly i think im SOL due to being Florida
    Last edited by Beatranger; 03-11-2009, 06:27 PM.

  • #2
    You have several different issues here.
    - Federal law does not care if you ever receive breaks or lunch. Federal law does have some rules on how break and lunch affect the federal "hours worked" rules.
    - You also mentioned sick pay which is a completely unrelated subject legally. "Salaried" by itself does not mean much. If you are Non-Exempt anything, then federal law almost never cares if you are paid for not working. This would include sick pay. There are some extremely narrow exceptions for those employees paid under a Fluctuating Workweek or Belo Plan. If you are Non-Exempt anything, then you almost certainly must be paid overtime (a few industry specific exceptions exists), but Non-Exempt Salaried employees can mostly have base salary legally docked for hours not worked.
    - Exempt Salaried however is complicated. Under the docking rules specific to Exempt Salaried employees only, never paying sick pay means that a "bona fide" sick pay plan does not exist, and the employer cannot legally dock the salary for sick time.
    - Other then a higher then federal minimum wage, FL is basically a "just like federal" state. FL does not even have a state DOL to complain to.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      No law in any state requires an employer to provide any paid leave; sick, vacation or personal. For exempt employees ONLY, failure to provide any paid leave means that the employer will have to pay an exempt employee for any days missed due to illness or any partial days missed, but it is not illegal to not have paid leave - even paid sick time.

      No Federal law and no law in Florida requires an employer to provide any breaks at all, of any length, paid or unpaid, regardless of the length of shift. (This is also true of several other states - Florida does not stand alone.) Federal law says only that IF breaks are offered, a break of under 20 minutes or so must be paid.

      Since you are not guaranteed breaks under the law, they can tell you not to take any.
      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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