A common question asked by workers is whether they are entitled to paid lunch breaks. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require breaks or meal periods be given to workers. Some states may have requirements for breaks or meal periods. Florida law does require that minors under age 18 must be given an uninterrupted meal or rest period of at least 30 minutes for each four hours they have continuously worked. However, Florida does not have lunch and break laws for adults. Florida Law does give guidance as to whether or not adult employees should be paid during breaks though. Short breaks, usually 20 minutes or less, should be counted as hours worked.
However, longer breaks, or genuine “meal periods” that are 30 minutes or more do not need to be compensated as work time. For this to be the case, however, the employee must be completely relieved of their duties during the break. If the employee is required to perform any of their duties (even answering a phone), it cannot be considered a meal or lunch period and must be paid.