Brinker Ruling Answers Key Wage and Hour Questions Affecting Technology Companies and Other California Employers


On April 12, 2012, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the Brinker case, ruling on several key questions regarding an employer's obligation to provide meal and rest breaks to its non-exempt employees. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati filed a brief on behalf of amicus curiae TechNet in support of Brinker Restaurant Corporation in the case. The highly anticipated ruling clarified that employers are not required to force employees to take meal and rest breaks in order to comply with the law. The court's holding will help employers develop compliance solutions for their particular industries.

Summary of the Court's Decision

1.When Has an Employer "Provided" a Meal Break?

Under the California Labor Code, an employer must "provide" a meal break to employees at certain times during their shifts. The Brinker case clarifies what an employer is required to do, and, just as important, what it is not required to do, in order to satisfy this requirement.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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