California Court Affirms Rest Break Timing Requirement

Apr 25 2016 - Meal and Rest Break - Gail Cecchettini Whaley

rest breakA California court recently affirmed that rest breaks in general cannot be combined (Rodriguez v. E.M.E., Inc., B264138 (4/22/16)). Relying on the California Supreme Court’s guidance in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, the appellate court held that “rest breaks in an eight hour shift should fall on either side of the meal break, absent factors rendering such scheduling impracticable.” There may be unusual or exceptional circumstances that will permit variation from the norm.

In this case, whether the company can show that unusual circumstances exist to justify its practice of combining rest breaks into a single 20 minute break before the meal period cannot be decided on a motion to eliminate the case before trial (known as a motion for summary judgment).

CalChamber experts will discuss this case in more detail in an upcoming edition of the HRCalifornia Extra Newsletter. Subscribe to this free biweekly e-newsletter that reports on the latest labor laws.

Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Employment Law Counsel/Content

HRCalifornia members can read more about the Meal and Rest Breaks in the HR Library. Not a member? See how HRCalifornia can help you.

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