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April 2013




Brinker: One Year Later

April 12, 2013, marked the one-year anniversary of the California Supreme Court’s decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court.

The Brinker case was extremely important to all California employers because the court’s decision settled longstanding questions about California employers’ obligations concerning meal and rest breaks, and the timing of those breaks.

The court’s ruling allowed employers some flexibility regarding the timing of meal and rest breaks. More importantly, the court ruled that employers do not have to ensure that employees take their meal breaks. Instead, the court held that: “An employer’s duty with respect to meal breaks … is an obligation to provide a meal period to its employees. The employer satisfies this obligation if it relieves its employees of all duty, relinquishes control over their activities and permits them a reasonable opportunity to take an uninterrupted 30-minute break, and does not impede or discourage them from doing so.”


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