On October 4, 2011, the California Supreme Court finally set oral argument in the Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court case to take place on November 8, 2011. Typically, the Supreme Court issues a ruling 90 days after oral argument is heard. Stay tuned and expect the Court’s ruling in early 2012.
Brinker has been pending before the Supreme Court since July 22, 2008. Among other issues, the Court’s anticipated ruling will decide whether employers, in accordance with Labor Code Section 226.7, need to “ensure” meal breaks or merely make the meal breaks available to their employees. This long-awaited decision will provide much needed clarity and relief on an issue that has plagued the California courts with countless lawsuits and caused operational nightmares for employers throughout the state.
In the meantime, we urge employers to continue to ensure that their employees take their full 30 minute, uninterrupted meal break.