Minor employees and denied breaks

Minor employees and denied breaks

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Wage And Hour Laws

In this fast-paced world, it can be all too easy to push one’s self to the limit. For example, some minor employees are told to skip breaks in pursuit of productivity.

However, when workers are denied the opportunity to rest and recharge, it can have significant consequences on both mental and physical well-being. In some instances, these denied breaks represent a violation of a worker’s legal rights.

The mental impact

Mentally, the impact of denied breaks can be profound. When young people continuously work without breaks, cognitive function can become impaired. Their ability to focus, make decisions and solve problems may decline. This can lead to decreased productivity and effectiveness in tasks. Additionally, denied breaks can increase feelings of stress, anxiety and burnout. Without time to step away and relax, mental health can suffer, impacting overall well-being.

According to the Florida Legislature, workers 17 and under must have a meal period of no less than 30 minutes after four hours of consecutive work. However, this does not apply to certain minor workers, such as those who have graduated high school.

Physical consequences

Physically, the effects of denied breaks can manifest in various ways. One common consequence is increased muscle tension and stiffness, particularly in areas like the neck, shoulders and back. Prolonged periods of sitting or repetitive movements without breaks can lead to musculoskeletal issues such as back pain and joint stiffness. Additionally, denied breaks can disrupt the body’s natural rhythms, leading to fatigue, decreased energy levels and disrupted sleep patterns.

By recognizing the importance of rest and relaxation, employers can better prioritize self-care and create a healthier balance in young workers’ lives.