Category Archives: Meal Periods

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Overview of Recent Updates for Employers in the Commercial Trucking Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the central role local and long haul trucking companies and drivers play in the overall U.S. economy and specifically our public health infrastructure.  Now, as states and businesses around the country gradually reopen and truck deliveries begin to ramp up, employers in the commercial trucking industry should be aware of … Continue Reading

California Appellate Court Clarifies the Monetary Amount for Meal Period, Rest Break, and Recovery Period Premiums, and Affirms an Employer’s Neutral Rounding Policy

On October 9, 2019, the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal issued a decision clarifying the rate of pay at which an employer must pay meal period, rest break, and recovery period premiums. More specifically, the appellate court answered the question: what does the “regular rate of compensation” in Labor Code Section … Continue Reading

California’s Meal and Rest Break Rules for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Remain Preempted by Federal Law . . . For Now

Signaling another positive development for interstate motor carriers operating in California, the United States District Court for the Central District of California (the “Central District”) recently dismissed a truck driver’s claims that motor carrier U.S. Xpress failed to provide a class of drivers with legally required meal and rest periods compliant with California law. See, … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Affirms Validity of Hospital Meal Period Waivers

The ability of hospitals to use meal period waivers was called into question by a 2015 Court of Appeal decision in Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center (Gerard I), which held that the provision in Wage Order 5 allowing waivers even when employees work over 12 hours was invalid.  Following two more years of … Continue Reading

Brinker for Dummies

On November 13, 2014, the Second District Court of Appeal, Division One, issued a decision in Walgreen Co. Overtime Cases.  The opinion explains the meaning of Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court as it applies to the duty to “provide” a meal period in a style that is so simple that a child could understand … Continue Reading

9th Circuit Applies Dukes v. Wal-Mart to a Wage/Hour Class Action

By Thomas Kaufman On March 4, 2013 the Ninth Circuit issued a second opinion in the action, Wang v. Chinese Daily News (Wang II), in which it reversed the class certification it had previously affirmed and remanded the matter for further consideration of Rule 23(a) commonality and Rule 23(b)(3) predominance.  The Wang II decision follows … Continue Reading

Sotelo Decision is Packed With Class Action Goodness

By Thomas Kaufman; (follow me on Twitter) A First Appellate District decision from May 31, 2012, Sotelo v. Medianews Group, Inc.; was published yesterday.  The opinion contains an in-depth discussion on class action concepts arising out of a case alleging misclassification of newspaper carriers as independent contractors.  The opinion cuts back on some pro-certification precedents, sets forth some anti-certification law for independent contractor cases, … Continue Reading

No Brinker Decision Yet But Another Favorable Meal And Rest Break Decision For Employers

On May 10, 2011, the Second Appellate District of California issued a favorable decision for employers in Flores v. Lamps Plus, Inc. This case serves as additional support that so long as California employers provide meal and rest breaks to employees, they have met their obligations as set forth in California Labor Code §§ 226.7 … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Affirms Denial Of Class Certification In Important Decision Holding That Employers Must Only Provide Rest and Meal Periods and Need Not Ensure That They Are Taken

In a decision recently certified for publication, Hernandez v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., (October 28, 2010) __ Cal.App.4th __, 2010 WL 4244583, the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order granting Chipotle’s motion to deny class certification and denying the Plaintiff’s motion for class certification. Chipotle is represented … Continue Reading

Another Court Of Appeal Holds That To “Provide” Meal And Rest Periods Means “Make Available”

On October 28, 2008, only six days after the California Supreme Court’s decision to review Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court of San Diego, a different California Court of Appeal reached the same conclusions about an employer’s obligation to provide meal and rest periods.  In Brinkley v. Public Storage, Inc., a class of plaintiffs sued their … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Agrees To Review Brinker Decision

On October 22, 2008, the California Supreme Court agreed to review the closely followed case of Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court of San Diego.  Brinker addressed compliance issues under California law relating to meal periods, rest periods, and off-the-clock work, as well as procedural issues raised in class action lawsuits based on these type of … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Clarifies Meal and Rest Period Obligations

In what is a major victory for California employers, the California Court of Appeal held yesterday in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum) that employers are not obligated to ensure that employees actually take meal and rest breaks, and that companies therefore cannot be held liable for alleged meal and rest break violations unless … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Meal and Rest Period Issue

In a decision of great interest to California employers, the California Supreme Court yesterday agreed to settle the dispute among California’s Courts of Appeal regarding whether the “payment” of one hour’s pay at the employee’s usual rate for a missed meal and/or break period mandated by California Labor Code §226.7 is a “wage” subject to … Continue Reading

Update On Meal Period Regulations

In December of 2004, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) proposed significant regulations regarding the state meal period requirements. The regulations were designed to interpret the rules contained in the Labor Code and to provide guidance to employees and employers. They were also designed to offer employees greater flexibility with respect to meal … Continue Reading


On Thursday, a California jury awarded $172 million to 116,000 current and former employees of Wal-Mart based on violations of California’s meal period rules. The verdict included $57 million in general damages and $115 million in punitive damages. Although the award may be vulnerable and is likely to be appealed, it will undoubtedly lead to … Continue Reading

Do California Meal and Rest Period Requirements Apply to Union Employees? Ninth Circuit Says They Do

In the recently decided case of Valles v. Ivy Hill Corporation, two union employees sued their employer for not providing meal and rest periods in accordance with California law. The collective bargaining agreement between the union and the employer provided that employees would be provided off-duty meal periods; and, that if they were required to … Continue Reading

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