Employers Need Not Ensure Meal Breaks: Calif. High Court

Law360, New York (April 12, 2012, 2:50 PM EDT) -- The California Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that employers must relieve workers of their duties during meal breaks but are not obligated to ensure that employees do no work during breaks, and that employers are not required to schedule the breaks at five-hour intervals.

Issuing its long-anticipated decision in a wage-and-hour class action against Chili's Grill & Bar owner Brinker International Inc., the court concluded that “an employer must relieve the employee of all duty for the designated period, but need not ensure that the employee does no work.”

The state's highest court agreed to take the case in 2008 to...

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