California Labor &
Employment Law Blog

Oct. 30 2010

California Court Says Employer Does Not Have to Ensure Breaks Are Taken

Topics: Class Actions, Court Decisions, Wage & Hour Issues

While California employers continue to await the California Supreme Court’s decision in Brinker, one Court of Appeal has issued a published decision holdingthat an employer does not have to ensure its employees take their meal breaks so long as they are provided the opportunity to take them. The court also denied class certification to a putative class of employees alleging meal break violations. The decision is Hernandez v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, and is here.

Meanwhile, the Brinker case has not yet been set for oral argument before the Supreme Court, which means that a decision is not expected until at least Spring 2011. That decision is expected to resolve the question of whether California law requires employers to “ensure” meal breaks are taken, or simply provide the opportunity to take them (with no liability if an employee chooses to skip the break or take a short break). We will continue topostdevelopments on this important topic.

About CDF

For over 20 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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