Be sure to register for Judge Kraft's webinar on Oct 2 at noon - topic - Detecting and preventing workplace fraud and embezzlement.  Register here:


Question - employment law - lunch breaks 



In a recent article Judge Kraft in your office referred to a mandatory lunch break: 

"In terms of leaving work to perform personal errands, I recommend that you follow the same system.  Although salaried workers cannot be docked pay if they attend to personal business during working hours, the goal would be to document that they were not engaged in work related activities at the time of an accident or other incident.  Such a system would have a beneficial side effect in this era of wage/hour litigation.  It would establish that the mandatory lunch break was provided and, if the employee was misclassified as salaried but should have been hourly, it will reduce your liability by the number of hours in which the employee was conducting his own affairs. "

Is a requirement for a lunch break a federal law or state/local?  I have looked in our Florida requirements and have not been able to find such a requirement. 

Larry McDonald, GM




    Think alarm law is complicated?  Employment and labor law is no joke - non compliance almost always leaves you open to private claims by your employees and agency prosecution by the Federal Department of Labor or your state Department of Labor or Attorney General's office.  Best employment practices are use a Handbook, have written company policies - and adhere to them.  Judge Kraft has created a number of employment and labor related standarized forms that we offer to the alarm industry at substantial discount.  You can sign up for Judge Kraft's emails at and you can find out about our standarized forms by contacting our Contract Administrator, Eileen Wadga at 516 747 6700 x 312 or  

    Here is Judge Ruth Kraft's response:


Dear Larry-

Florida law requires a lunch break only for workers who are under 18.   You are not mandated by Florida law to provide a break for anyone over 18 and certainly not to pay for that time.  If a "break" is 20 minutes or less, under

federal law, you cannot dock workers for that time and must pay them. 

Should you offer an unpaid lunch break?  I think so.  Otherwise, you will find yourself paying for those 5 minute trips to the convenience store that turn into 15 minutes-while on the clock.  Additionally, In terms of mitigating risk of workplace

injuries, workers' comp experts will tell you that if you encourage employees to work for more than 5 consecutive hours without respite, the percentage of workplace errors and injuries will increase exponentially.  Those mistakes can be quite costly

to your company.  

Thanks for the question!

Judge Ruth





October 2, 2013  12 noon EST  Register here:

 Title:  Detecting and preventing workplace fraud and embezzlement

 Presented by:  Judge Ruth Kraft, Chair, Labor and Employment Department, Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, PC.

 Description:  The webinar will discuss classic employee embezzlement and fraud scenarios, applicable to all businesses, how to anticipate the problem, understand patterns of behavior by employees who are committing fraud, and self-audit against these eventualities.

 Who should attend:  Attendees should be business owners-obviously not their staffers!

Embezzlement, in various degrees, strikes almost 20% of businesses each year.  If it goes unchecked, the results can be catastrophic.


To be announced  12 noon EST  Register here:

     Title:  What a Security Alarm company needs to know before attempting Commercial Fire Alarm Installations

      Presented by:  Bob Williams, President, and JR McCotter, Chief of Technical Services,   Briscoe Protective Systems Inc  A fire alarm company servicing NYC and Long Island

      Description:  Many security guys install residential Smoke detectors and think it qualifies them to install Commercial Fire Alarms.  This webinar will address the special considerations fire alarm companies face.  NFPA; NICET; Licensing; AHJ; new installations and take overs


     Who should attend:  Alarm company owners and fire techs.