California Employers 'Provide' Meal Periods by Making Them Available but Need Not Ensure That Employees Take Them
18 April 2012
Mayer Brown Legal Update
In Brinker Restaurant Corp., et al. v. Superior Court of San Diego County (Hohbaum, et al.), the California Supreme Court ruled that employers satisfy their obligation under California law to “provide” duty free meal periods by making them available, but need not ensure that employees actually take the meal periods. This decision, which is a significant victory for employers, will be of interest to all businesses with California employees. In addition, the court clarified an important issue of class certification law that had divided the lower courts, holding that a court considering a motion to certify a class must resolve disputed legal or factual issues that were necessary to determine whether common issues predominated over individualized ones.