The Brinker Decision: Analysis and Guidance

The Brinker Decision: Analysis and Guidance


On April 12, 2012 the California Supreme Court released its long awaited decision in the meal and rest breaks case: Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court.

The decision in the Brinker case is important to all California employers and nonexempt workers because it involves employers' obligations relating to meal and rest breaks for nonexempt employees. The question of whether employers must ensure employees take breaks or must simply provide breaks has been a source of significant litigation in both federal and state courts.

Employers have anxiously waited for guidance from the Supreme Court on these issues:

  • Must employers simply make meal breaks available or must employers ensure the meal break is taken?
  • What is the timing of the meal break? Are employers obligated to make a meal break available for every five consecutive hours of work?
  • How many rest breaks are required during a shift?
  • When must employees take their rest breaks?
CalChamber’s "The Brinker Decision: Analysis and Guidance" white paper will help you interpret the ruling which requires employers to examine meal and rest break policies.


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CalChamber is the largest, broad-based business advocate, working at the state and federal levels to influence government actions affecting all California business. As a not-for-profit, we leverage our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations to provide affordable, easy-to-use compliance products and services.

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