Supreme Court to Review Another Meal Period Ruling

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 4, 2011

For several years California has been litigating the definition of “provide” in the Meal Period statute.

Over a year ago the Supreme Court granted review of the Brinker v. Hohnbaum decision which would determine whether California law requires employers to ensure non-exempt employees take a full 30-minute lunch break. Although the Brinker case has been fully briefed, no oral arguments have been set and a decision is not expected anytime soon.

Now the Supreme Court has granted review of Hernandez v. Chipotle, which stated that employers need not ensure employees take meal breaks so long as they are provided an opportunity to take them.  By granting review of the Chipotle case, it’s now ordered to be de-published, pending the Court's decision and employers can no longer rely on this opinion.

The decisions on both of these cases are crucial to clarifying once and for all an employer’s ability to comply with the labor code.  Without a decision, businesses will continue to face litigation and confusion.

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