Florida Overtime and Meal & Rest Break Laws for Nurses

The Florida General Assembly has not enacted a statute with regard to mandatory overtime pay for nurses employed in the Florida healthcare industry. As such, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) stands in as the legal threshold within which employers must structure their pay scales and work schedules. Under the FLSA, nurses are to be provided time and one-half pay for work performed beyond a 40-hour workweek. The federal government defines “workweek” as seven consecutive days. Employers are not required to pay overtime if one particular work day happens to exceed eight hours as long as the entire workweek does not exceed 40 total hours.

Florida also has not enacted specific legislation with regard to nurse meal times and rest breaks. The FLSA does not specifically require employers to provide nurses with paid or unpaid breaks and employers may refuse to honor reasonable requests for breaks. However, if an employer agrees to provide short term breaks to nurses (typically between 5-20 minutes) the break must be compensable. Meal breaks lasting 30 minutes or more are not compensable and employers may even require nurses to eat while on duty.
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