The Brinker Decision: Analysis and Guidance

The Brinker Decision: Analysis and Guidance


In April 2012, the California Supreme Court finally released its long awaited decision in 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 provides a summary of the key decision and will help you interpret the ruling which requires employers to examine meal and rest break policies.


About CalChamber

As a not-for-profit, CalChamber is a business advocate and expert HR compliance resource for California employers. Our legislative presence at the State Capitol means we know California employment laws inside and out. We monitor, analyze and report changes as they happen, turning our expertise into products and services that help businesses more easily understand and comply with complex laws and regulations.

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