Legal Alert: Back to Brinker: California's Meal Period Riddle Will Soon Be Answered

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On November 8, 2011, the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum), 165 Cal.App. 4th 25 (2008), to determine whether, under California law, a company may simply "provide" employees with the opportunity for a meal period, or whether it must affirmatively "ensure" that those meal periods are taken.

In October 2008, the California Supreme Court made the decision to review Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum), 165 Cal.App. 4th 25 (2008). Now, at long last, with the appointment of Justice Goodwin Liu, the Court has a full panel and will hear oral arguments in Brinker on November 8, 2011.

The issue – of which all Californians are probably aware – is: May a company simply "provide" employees with the opportunity for a meal period, or must it affirmatively "ensure" that those meal periods are taken? Unless post-hearing briefing is ordered, we will have an answer by February 6, 2012 (90 days following submission at oral argument).

Please see full alert below for more information.

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