The Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District issued a significant decision today in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court. Among several key findings was the Court’s holding that employers need only provide meal breaks to employees, not ensure that the meal breaks are actually taken by employees. The Court further held that, because meal breaks need only be “made available” and not “ensured,” individual issues predominated and the meal break claims were not amenable to class treatment. The Court further held that a writ should issue directing the trial court to vacate its class certification order and enter a new order denying with prejudice certification of plaintiff’s rest break, meal break, and off-the-clock subclasses.
In reaching its decision, the Court cited with approval White v. Starbucks Corp., 497 F.Supp.2d 1080 (N.D. Cal. 2007) and Brown v. Federal Express Corp., ___ F.R.D. ___ (C.D. Cal. 2008) (2008 WL 906517), both of which reached the same conclusion regarding an employer’s duty with respect to providing meal periods to employees.
Click here to read the full opinion.
Keesal, Young & Logan Employment Group