Another Court Holds That Employers Are Not Required to Force Employees to Take Breaks

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On October 28, 2008, the California Court of Appeal affirmed an order of the Los Angeles County Superior Court holding that meal and rest periods must merely be made available, not forced upon employees. Brinkley v. Public Storage,Inc., No. B200513, __ Cal. App. 4th __ (2d Dist., Div. 3, Oct. 28, 2008, modified Nov. 5, 2008). The court rejected the class action plaintiffs? argument that case law or the Industrial Wage Orders obligate employers to ensure meal periods are taken, stating ?the meal period laws do not obligate employees to take meal periods or employers to ensure meal periods are taken.? In light of the steps taken by Public Storage to provide meal and rest breaks, and the plaintiff?s inability to prove that he or other class members were ever denied an opportunity to take meal or rest breaks, the court concluded that the trial court was correct in dismissing the plaintiff?s meal and rest break claims.

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