California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Meal Periods and Rest Breaks

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On-Duty Meal Periods Were Permissible For Concrete Mixer Drivers

Driscoll v. Graniterock Co., 2016 WL 6994923 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) Brian Driscoll, et al., filed a putative class action against their employer, Graniterock, on behalf of 200 current and former concrete mixer drivers for its alleged failure to provide employees with off-duty meal periods and an additional hour of pay for meal periods during … Continue Reading

Security Guard Class Action Should Not Have Been Decertified

Lubin v. The Wackenhut Corp., 5 Cal. App. 5th 926 (2016) Nivida Lubin, et al., filed this class action lawsuit against their employer for its alleged failure to provide Lubin and similarly situated employees (private security guards) with off-duty meal and rest breaks and for providing inadequate wage statements. The trial court initially certified a … Continue Reading

$90 Million Judgment Reinstated: Employers Must Relieve Employees Of All Duties During Their Rest Periods

Augustus v. ABM Sec. Servs., Inc., 2016 WL 7407328 (Cal. S. Ct. 2016) Jennifer Augustus filed this putative class action on behalf of all ABM security guards, alleging that ABM consistently failed to provide uninterrupted rest periods as required by state law. During discovery, ABM acknowledged that it required guards to keep their radios and … Continue Reading

California employers must relieve their employees of all duties during breaks

$90 Million Judgment Reinstated:  Employers Must Relieve Employees Of All Duties During Their Break Time Today, the California Supreme Court ruled that California law strictly prohibits on-duty rest periods.  “What [the law] require[s] instead is that employers relinquish any control over how employees spend their break time, and relieve their employees of all duties – … Continue Reading

Residential Care Facility Could Require Its Employees To Take On-Duty Meals

Palacio v. Jan & Gail’s Care Homes, Inc., 242 Cal. App. 4th 1133 (2015) Yvonne Palacio filed this putative class action against Jan & Gail’s Care Homes (“Care Homes”) based on a policy that required newly hired employees to sign an agreement waiving their right to uninterrupted meal periods. Palacio sought class certification based upon … Continue Reading

Agricultural Workers’ Putative Class Action Was Properly Denied Certification

Cruz v. Sun World Int’l, LLC, 2015 WL 9463140 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Plaintiffs in this putative class action alleged off-the-clock work had been performed by employees, that meal and rest breaks were shortened, that the additional hour of pay for each meal or rest period they were denied was not paid, and that their … Continue Reading

California Enacts a Raft of New Employment Legislation

The latest legislative session has just ended, and, true to form, the California Legislature has added more than a dozen new laws affecting employers doing business in the nation’s largest state.  These statutes are in addition to the other six new laws that we reported on in September: Signed legislation: Sick Leave: Accrual And Limitations Language … Continue Reading

Missed Meal Break Class Action Was Properly Certified

Safeway, Inc. v. Superior Court, 238 Cal. App. 4th 1138 (2015) Plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit alleged claims against Safeway and Vons for failure to provide meal and rest breaks, failure to provide itemized pay statements, unfair business practices under the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) and penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General … Continue Reading

$90 Million Judgment In Favor Of Security Guards Who Remained On Call During Rest Breaks Is Reversed

Augustus v. ABM Sec. Servs., Inc., 182 Cal. Rptr. 3d 676 (2015) In this class action lawsuit, plaintiffs alleged that ABM did not provide rest periods to its security guard employees because it failed to relieve them of all duties and required them to remain on call during their breaks. The trial court certified the … Continue Reading

Health Care Employees Should Not Have Been Permitted To Waive Their Second Meal Periods

Gerard v. Orange Coast Mem. Med. Ctr., 2015 WL 535730 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) In this putative class/Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) action, Jazmina Gerard (and others) challenged a hospital policy that allowed health care employees who worked shifts longer than 10 hours to voluntarily waive one of their two meal periods, even if their … Continue Reading

Oops! California Court Gets Around to Invalidating 22-Year-Old Meal Period Waiver Rules for Healthcare Employees

For nearly 22 years, IWC Wage Order No. 4 and IWC Wage Order No. 5 have permitted employees in the “health care industry” who work shifts in excess of eight total hours in a workday to “voluntarily waive their right to one of their two meal periods. . . . in a written agreement that … Continue Reading

Trial Court Properly Denied Class Certification For Unpaid Meal Break Claims

In re Walgreen Co. Overtime Cases, 231 Cal. App. 4th 437 (2014) The putative class members in this case moved for class certification on the theory that although Walgreens’s stated policy on meal breaks was proper, its actual practice departed from its stated policy in an illegal and class wide way. The trial court denied … Continue Reading

Federal Law Does Not Preempt Meal And Rest Break Requirements For Motor Carrier Employees

Godfrey v. Oakland Port Servs. Corp., 2014 WL 5439289 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) Plantiffs Lavon Godfrey and Gary Gilbert initiated this class action against AB Trucking, alleging that AB did not pay its drivers for all hours worked, misclassified some drivers as non-employee trainees whom it did not pay at all, and failed to provide … Continue Reading

Employees Of Electrical/Gas Company Are Not Entitled To Off-Duty Meal Periods

Araquistain v. Pacific Gas & Elec. Co., 2014 WL 4227872 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) Plaintiffs Ignacio Araquistain, David Page and Douglas Girouard are non-exempt, unionized employees of PG&E, which is an “electrical corporation” and a “gas corporation” within the meaning of Labor Code § 512(f)(4).  The operative collective bargaining agreement states that “shift employees and … Continue Reading

Class Action Plaintiffs Must Develop A Trial Plan That May Include Statistical Sampling

Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 59 Cal. 4th 1 (2014) Plaintiffs in this case are loan officers for U.S. Bank (“USB”) who claim they were misclassified as exempt employees under the outside salesperson exemption. After certifying a class of 260 plaintiffs, the trial court devised a plan to determine the extent of USB’s liability … Continue Reading

California Courts May No Longer Be Able to Certify a Ham Sandwich

Commentators have quipped that class certification is so easy in California that with little effort a group of plaintiffs could certify even a ham sandwich.  In fact, as we have discussed here, we have seen a proliferation of recent appellate decisions hinging class certification on the mere existence of an employer’s uniform policy – no … Continue Reading

California Appellate Court Affirms Denial Of Class Certification

As we recently reported here, there have been a number of appellate decisions ordering class certification based on the existence of an employer’s companywide policy – all while overlooking numerous individualized questions that would undoubtedly create manageability problems during trial.  On December 30, 2013, the California Court of Appeal in Johnson v. California Pizza Kitchen, … Continue Reading

Brinker Round 2: Plaintiffs Secure Class Certification in Trial Court

After the renowned remand from the California Supreme Court, the Hohnbaum plaintiffs in Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Court, 53 Cal. 4th 1004 (2012) sought to certify meal period claims alleging that all California employees were denied meal periods because Brinker’s corporate meal period policies were unlawful. Plaintiffs argued that Brinker’s corporate policies were unlawful … Continue Reading

Trial Court Erred In Failing To Certify Class Action For Unpaid Overtime And Meal-And-Rest Breaks

Bradley v. Networkers Int’l, LLC, 2012 WL 6182473 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) The three named plaintiffs in this case were among approximately 140 skilled workers retained by Networkers to provide repair and installation services at cell sites. Each worker was required to sign a standard contract, which stated that he or she was an independent … Continue Reading

Brinker Dooms Class Certification of Meal and Rest Period Claims

Plaintiff Rogelio Hernandez brought a putative class action lawsuit for Chipotle’s alleged failure to provide meal and rest breaks to its non-managerial employees pursuant to California Labor Code Section 226.7. The California Court of Appeal held that the Supreme Court’s decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court (2012) 53 Cal. 4th 1004, precluded class certification … Continue Reading

Appellate Courts Begin To Apply Brinker Decision

Hernandez v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., 2012 WL 3579567 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Rogelio Hernandez appealed from the order denying his motion for class certification and granting Chipotle’s motion to deny class certification as to his claims that Chipotle denied non-exempt employees their meal and rest breaks. Chipotle moved to deny class certification on the … Continue Reading

Employers Need Only Provide (Not Ensure) Meal And Rest Breaks

Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Court, 53 Cal. 4th 1004 (2012) In this long-awaited opinion, the California Supreme Court determined several important issues of law regarding meal and rest breaks. First and foremost, the Supreme Court determined that “an employer’s obligation is to relieve its employee of all duty, with the employee thereafter at liberty … Continue Reading
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