Last week, we reported that the California Supreme Court granted review in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, an important case regarding employers’ duties to provide employees with meal breaks. In Brinker, the Court of Appeal held, among other things, that employers need only “provide meal breaks” to employees, not “ensure” that the meal breaks are actually taken. The court further held that, because meal breaks need only be “made available” and not “ensured,” individual issues predominated, and the meal break claims (as well as related rest break and off-the-clock claims) were not amenable to class treatment. Because the California Supreme Court granted review, Brinker can no longer be cited or otherwise relied upon in court filings.
Today, however, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District issued its decision in Brinkley v. Public Storage, Inc. In Brinkley, the Court held that (1) employers must make meal periods available, but need not ensure that they are actually taken, and (2) meal periods need not be provided within the first five hours of work. The Court also held that, in order to establish a claim for violation of Labor Code Section 226 regarding pay stubs, “a plaintiff must actually suffer injury to recover damages or statutory penalties.” Brinkley has been certified for publication.
We will continue to monitor Brinker, Brinkley and other cases in this area of the law for further developments.
You can read the Brinkley decision yourself here.
Keesal, Young & Logan Employment Group