In Florida, there are no laws requiring employers to give meal breaks or rest breaks to employees over eighteen. Minor employees seventeen years old or younger must be given thirty minutes of designated mealtime for every four hours of work. While state or federal laws do not require that employers provide most employees meal or rest breaks, if a state employer does offer employee breaks, it must follow certain federal guidelines that say employees who work through breaks must be paid their regular wage.
A Tampa meal and rest violation lawyer at Feldman Legal Group could determine if federal rest and meal laws apply to your employer. If so, our experienced wage and hour attorneys could begin procedures that might include negotiations with insurance carriers and employers, appearances at court hearings and depositions, and a case valuation of any back wages you are owed. Our diligent legal professionals are prepared to fight for the payments you rightfully earned and deserve.
Rest and Meal Break Requirements in Florida
While Florida does not require its employers to provide rest or meal breaks for employees, many employers recognize the benefits of allowing employee breaks and meals during working hours. These meal and rest breaks may result in optimum or better performance and, thus, higher yields for the employer. However, if the employer does provide breaks, it must not be provided in a discriminatory manner. Additionally, employees who work through their break must be paid, and employers must pay employees for short breaks of up to twenty minutes.
The Fair Labor Standards Act provides additional guidelines and requirements regarding breaks for recent nursing mothers needing to express milk for up to one year after birth. These include employers providing private, designated areas for new mothers to pump milk for their child.
Several issues may arise following rest and meal breaks, such as employers refusing to pay during the breaks or to pay for overtime the breaks may have caused. A seasoned Tampa meal and rest violation attorney could determine whether the employer is compelled to follow federal law and further discern whether any federal laws were violated in a specific case.
Penalties for Violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act
Assistance from an attorney knowledgeable about rest and meal break laws in Tampa is crucial when assessing and contesting a claim that could result in wage penalties. A skilled lawyer like Mitchell Feldman could review employer actions and federal laws relevant to your case, negotiate back wages, and pursue any penalties available.
An employer may be liable for the following penalties under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):
Penalties range from $1,000 for each overtime and minimum wage violation to $10,000 for child wage and willful violations of the FLSA. The statute of limitations to bring a suit for a violation of the FLSA is two years, except for suits involving willful acts, which are valid for three years.
Schedule a Consultation with a Tampa Meal and Rest Violation Attorney
When you are denied wages after working through a break or shift at work, a Tampa meal and rest violation lawyer could begin resolution of your issues with negotiations and back pay demands. Call or email Feldman Legal Group today for an initial meeting with one of our qualified legal professionals.