The long-awaited decision in Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court
(Honhbaum) makes clear that employers do not need to force
employees to take their meal breaks. Instead, an employer satisfies
its duty under California's meal period and rest break laws by
relieving its employees of all duties, relinquishing control over
their activities and permitting them a reasonable opportunity to
take an uninterrupted 30-minute break, and not impeding or
discouraging them from doing so. The Court made clear that
"the employer is not obligated to police meal breaks and
ensure no work thereafter is performed. Bona fide relief from duty
and the relinquishing of control satisfies the employer's
The Court further clarified that if the employee voluntarily
chooses to continue to work during his or her break, "the
employer will not be liable for premium pay. At most, it will be
liable for straight pay, and then only when it 'knew or
reasonably should have known that the worker was working through
the authorized meal period.'" However, if an employer
encourages the employee to do work during
the meal break or otherwise effectively precludes the employee from
taking a 30-minute meal break, the employer may then be liable for
failing to provide required breaks. For additional information,
Foley Partner John Douglas authored an article that appeared in
Employment Law360 on November 14, 2011 titled, "
On the Brink of Deciding Brinker."
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Sylvia Dahlby, a "purveyor of talent acquisition, staffing management and recruiting business solutions" in Hawaii, commented below on our posts about "lookism," beauty bias, appearance bias, and obesity.
Over $2 million, along with "a very strong consent decree," is the price of settlement of an EEOC same sex sexual harassment (and retaliation) lawsuit action against a New Mexico car dealership on behalf of over 50 men.
Recently issued final regulations on the employer reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act clarify and streamline the process for reporting information relating to the provision of minimum essential coverage and health insurance coverage offered under employer-sponsored plans.
I read with interest a recent post by Michael Kun in the Epstein Becker wage hour blog concerning (non-exempt) employees seeking payment for and/or suing for compensation for time spent checking and responding to emails and utilizing other PDAs on (ostensibly) Company business after business hours and on weekends.
On November 2, 2012, we reported that a federal court in Michigan had enjoined the application of the rule of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that would have required a "secular, for-profit, family owned and operated corporation" owned by a practicing Catholic to provide employee health insurance that covers contraception.
President Obama Issues Initiative to Expand Overtime Pay
On March 13, 2014, President Barack Obama requested that the Labor Department issue rules that greatly expand the number of workers who will be eligible to receive overtime pay.