Can You Seek Workers’ Compensation for Injuries During A Rest Or Meal Break In Florida?
Workers in Florida have rest and meal breaks. For example, most workers with a nine-to-five schedule have 30-minute lunch breaks in addition to rest periods. But what happens if a worker is injured during a rest or meal break?
Does Florida workers’ compensation law provide protections to employees who sustain injuries while they are on a meal or rest break? Whether your injury suffered during a rest or meal break is compensable or not depends on the circumstances of your case, which is why it is advisable to consult with an experienced attorney.
Contact a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your case and determine if you can get compensated for your injury that occurred while you were on a rest or meal break.
What Are Florida Laws Regarding Rest and Meal Breaks?
Florida does not have its own laws regarding rest and meal breaks. For this reason, rest and meal breaks in the State of Florida are governed by federal law:
- Employers that allow workers to have rest periods, which are typically 20 minutes or less, are required to pay employees for that time; and
- Employers are not legally required to pay employees for meal or lunch breaks, which are typically 30 minutes or more, as long as the worker is not asked to perform any work-related tasks at all.
Meal breaks during which an employee is not required to perform any work for their employer are called “bona fide” meal periods. If your employer requires you to work during your meal break, you should be compensated for that period.
Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Injuries Sustained During a Rest Break?
Under Florida law, an employee is entitled to workers’ compensation if they suffer injuries within the scope and course of employment. But is a worker acting in the scope and course of employment when they are on a rest or meal break?
Typically, injuries that occur while an employee is on a rest break are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits unless the employee’s behavior during the rest period does not substantially deviate from the course of employment.
Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Injuries Sustained During a Meal Break?
Seeking workers’ compensation for an injury that occurred during a meal break is more complicated because most employers do not pay employees for meal periods. You are likely to be eligible for compensation if you were performing some tasks for your employer during the meal break.
However, if you were injured during a bona fide meal break, seeking workers’ compensation benefits can be difficult, especially if you are not represented by a skilled attorney.
Contact a Tampa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Your employer may argue that you cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured during a rest or meal break. However, you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney to determine whether or not you are eligible for compensation in your particular situation.
Talk to our workers’ compensation lawyer Jason Kobal at Kobal Law to discuss your eligibility for workers’ comp. Call 813-873-2440 today.