Meal Period Guarantees defined by CA Supreme Court

Today, the California Supreme Court has ruled on an important issue to employment actions – what duty do employers have when safeguarding the right of employees to take meal breaks during their work day.

In Brinker Restaurant Corp., plaintiffs brought a class action against the restaurants.  The class action emerged with three subclasses: (1) rest period; (2) meal period; and (3) off-the-clock claims.  The California Supreme Court dismissed the subclasses of meal break and off-the clock claims.

The California Supreme Court dismissed the meal break subclass because it concluded that “an employer’s obligation is to relieve its employee of all duty, with the employee thereafter at liberty to use the meal period for whatever purpose he or she desires, but the employer need not ensure that no work is done.”  The California Supreme Court dismissed the off-the-clock claims because there was no evidence of common policies or means of proof.

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Filed under Appellate, civil rights, employment

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