After much delay, the California Supreme Court has finally issued its long-awaited decision in Brinker Restaurant Group, Inc. v. Superior Court, clarifying employers' obligations with regard to meal and rest period requirements. It is largely, but not entirely, a victory for employers. A copy of the decision is available here.
The Court confirmed that rest periods need only be made available to employees, and that there is no violation of law if an employee chooses not to take a rest period. Nevertheless, the Court affirmed the certification of a rest period class, holding that the lower court had not abused its discretion in certifying a class on such a claim because Brinker's uniform written policy may not comply with the law in practice as to the second rest period in a day. In so doing, the Court clarified when employees are entitled to rest periods: "Employees are entitled to 10 minutes' rest for shifts from three and one-half to six hours in length, 20 minutes for shifts of more than six hours up to 10 hours, 30 minutes for shifts of more than 10 hours up to 14 hours, and so on."
On meal periods, the Court rejected the arguments made by the plaintiffs that employers have an obligation to "ensure" that employees take 30-minute, uninterrupted meal periods. The Court concluded that employers, in fact, have no obligation to "ensure" that employees do no work, and it further explained that employers have no obligation to "police" employees' meal periods...
Please see full advisory below for more information.
Firefox recommends the PDF Plugin for Mac OS X for viewing PDF documents in your browser.
We can also show you Legal Updates using the Google Viewer; however, you will need to be logged into Google Docs to view them.
Please choose one of the above to proceed!
LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.