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