Florida Labor Laws on Hours

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The employment field in Florida is widely varied, from seasonal help at world-famous theme parks to full-time factory work and retail jobs. One thing all Florida jobs have in common is that they're ruled by specific labor laws about the number of hours employees work. Employees should know their rights to make sure they know exactly how much they're earning each week. Business owners, on the other hand, need to know the rules to ensure they don't invite legal trouble by inadvertently breaking the law.

Florida Labor Laws of Hours Worked in a Day

The laws about the allowable hours worked in a day depend on how you're being paid. Some companies pay their workers by the day, week or year instead of paying them hourly. For workers paid by the chunks of time in this manner, a day is capped at 10 hours. If you're scheduled for more than 10 hours, your employer must pay you overtime.

If you're paid by the hour, the state doesn't regulate the number of hours you can work in a day, as long as you're over 18. The hours are regulated based on a 40-hour work week, and Florida labor laws don't specifically mention the payment of overtime. Federal overtime laws apply here, which state that employees who work over 40 hours in a week should be paid overtime. In both cases, overtime pay is set at 1 1/2 times the normal rate of pay.

Read More: Florida PTO Laws

Florida Child Labor Laws

The laws regarding child labor in the state of Florida are very specific. Children under the age of 14 may not work at all, except in certain specialized jobs like newspaper delivery. Children 14 and 15 are allowed a limited amount of work. They can't work at all during school hours, and during the school year, they're limited to 15 hours per week. Once school is out for summer or vacations, these children are allowed to work up to eight hours a day and up to 40 hours per week.

Minors who are 16 and 17 years old are not allowed to work during school hours, and may not work before 6:30 a.m. or after 11:00 p.m. They may also not work more than eight hours in one day when school is scheduled the next day. They are allowed to work after school and on weekends up to 30 hours a week during the school year. Once school is out for vacation, there are no limitations on the number of hours they may work. In all cases, any minor who works more than four hours continuously must be given a half-hour lunch break.

Florida Laws About Work Breaks

Florida law doesn't specifically regulate lunch breaks for adults, only for those under 18 years of age. In cases like this, where the state doesn't specify, the federal law will apply. According to federal labor law, if an employer chooses to give an employee a break of 20 minutes or less, it must be a paid break. Longer breaks, such as meal or lunch periods of 30 minutes or more, do not have to be paid, but the employee must be free to do what they want during this unpaid break time.

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About the Author

Victoria Bailey has a degree in Public Law and Government. She has spoken before state Supreme Court justices and her photograph is on the back cover of Bill Clinton's autobiography. As a former member of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, Bailey worked closely with lawmakers to help set public policy. Bailey's work appears on numerous websites, and she's currently writing the text for a governmental information app.

Photo Credits

  • Florida Alligator image by Don McMullen from Fotolia.com