On April 12, 2012, the California Supreme Court ruled in Brinker Restaurant Group v. Superior Court of San Diego that while employers are required to provide meal breaks to employees, they need not ensure that employees take them.
It’s a significant ruling for California employers because it clarifies the rules regarding rest and meal breaks. Equally important, it eases burdens by allowing employers to provide breaks on a schedule that meets their business needs.
For your reference, five takeaways from the Brinker decision:
1. “Early lunching” is permitted:
2. Employers must provide a second meal break after ten hours of work:
3. Employees are free to do what they want during their meal break:
4. Employers must provide both rest and meal breaks, but not in any particular order:
5. Employees must receive a rest period after 3.5 hours of work:
6. Bonus: Review your company’s meal and rest policies: