March 11, 2014

California Employers Await Definitive Answer from California Supreme Court on Meal and Rest Break Obligations

California Employment Law Update

On October 22, 2008, the California Supreme Court granted review of and de-published Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Court, 165 Cal.App.4th 25 (2008), an important recent decision that addressed employee meal period and rest break requirements under California law.  As reported in our July 2008 Employment Law Update, the Brinker decision held that employers are only required to provide meal and rest breaks to their employees, not ensure that breaks are actually taken.  Brinker further held that, in the absence of evidence of uniform policies and practices that violate California wage-and-hour laws, courts should not certify class action claims seeking meal and rest break premium pay or compensation for work performed “off the clock.”  With the California Supreme Court granting review of Brinker, the decision may no longer be cited as precedent and the validity of its holdings is cast into doubt until the Court issues its final decision.