The Blog: Rest and Meal Periods

California law requires employers to authorize and permit employees to take 10 minute paid rest periods for each four hours worked or major fraction thereof. A 30 minute unpaid meal period must be provided for work periods of more than five hours and another 30 minute unpaid meal period for work periods of more than 10 hours (with certain exceptions). An employer must relieve the employee of all duty during rest and meal periods and must do nothing to impede, discourage, dissuade, or interfere with the employee’s off duty rest/meal period.

“Piece Rate” Employers: Use Your New Affirmative Defense!

In California, piece rate compensation plans have been on the chopping block since 2013. That’s when two California courts ruled that piece-rate employers had to separately pay employees for rest and recovery periods and “nonproductive” time. Back then we wrote those decisions put the “nail in the coffin” for piece rate compensation in California.
Those 2013 decisions also opened the flood gates for class …

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Eliminate Employee Class Actions Through Binding Arbitration

The California Supreme Court has ruled California employers may avoid employee class action lawsuits through binding arbitration. (Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, 6/23/2014). This is clearly a big win for all employers, large and small.

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Where No Rest Period Policy = Liability

Smart employers know having written employee policies is good business.
But who would have thought the absence of a written policy – when the law does not require one – could create liability for employers?  And when that lack of a written policy can result in class action liability it’s best to sit up and take notice.
Common Uniform Policies Under Brinker
In …

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California Supreme Court Hears Argument in Brinker Restaurant & Brinkley

A Vision Law® attorney attended the live oral argument before the California Supreme Court in San Francisco on November 8, 2011 on a case involving an employer’s obligation under California law on rest periods and meal periods.
It is astonishing that the highest court of the State of California must rule on whether adults in California workplaces must take 10 minute …

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California Supreme Court Brinker Restaurant Rest/Meal Period Decision

After years of waiting, and $millions (if not $billions) in legal fees, settlements and damages paid by California businesses, the California Supreme Court has issued its rest and meal period decision in the Brinker Restaurant case.


The Brinker Court fashioned practical rules somewhat favorable to employers.  The key question was whether California employers had to force/police employees to take their meal periods, …

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Meal Period Waivers

California law requires an off duty unpaid meal period of at least 30 minutes for every five hours worked.  The failure to provide the meal period results in a penalty of one hour at the employee’s regular hourly rate of pay (Labor Code section 226.7 – mandated meal or rest periods).
California has two exceptions to this rule that are often …

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