Laws on Paid Break Time in Florida

By Etch Tabor
Florida's laws, employee breaks, payment, employees
Florida state contour with Capital City against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from

When it comes to time off, Florida law tends to look toward federal legislation. And unfortunately for employees, federal legislation regarding paid breaks is rather unfavorable to employees. For the most part, employees in Florida are not guaranteed any kind of break, including a lunch break, and pay is dictated predominantly by corporate policy.

Meal Breaks for Minors

Under Florida law, those who are employed and are under the age of 18 are granted a paid meal break of 30 minutes as long as they are working for more than 4 hours continuously.

Non-minor Meal Breaks

Florida law relies on federal labor laws regarding non-minor meal breaks. Under federal law, an employer does not have to grant an employee meal breaks at all. However, if the employer so chooses to grant a meal break, which is typically about 30 minutes long, then the employer does not have to pay the employee by law.

Non-minor Breaks

For breaks other than meal breaks, Florida once again relies on the federal labor law statutes. These regulations do not require employers to provide employees breaks. However, if an employer chooses to grant employees breaks, typically ranging from 5 to 20 minutes, then the employer must pay the employee for this time.

Vacation and Sick Leave

Regarding extended breaks from employment, such as vacation time or sick leave, Florida does not require employees to provide vacation or sick time. Therefore, this time off, if granted, does not have to be paid. However, if an employment contract is in place that specifies payment during such breaks, the employer must honor this contract.

About the Author

For three years, Etch Tabor worked as the technology and online editor at "InsideCounsel" magazine, a national publication for in-house counsel. He currently is a full-time freelance writer, specializing in legal, technology and comedy writing. He graduated in 2004 from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in journalism.