Although I have been fortunate enough to avoid any in depth or on-going contact with California employment law, it is hard not to be aware of what is going on. So like many, I have been waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision in Brinker v. The Superior Court of San Diego County (CA 4.12.12), for what seems like an extremely long time.
Now that it has been issued, I gather from the general tenor of the posts, that it was a) more than expected, especially about class actions and b) better than expected for employers.
Rather than try to invent the wheel, here are the comments from folks who have much more skin in the game than me, including lawyers from my own firm, Ogletree Deakins, which now a substantial presence in California. Their take can be found at California Supreme Court Issues Major Victory for Employers in Brinker Case.
Here’s a summary from other commentators:
- Greg Valenza at What’s New in Employment Law has his immediate thoughts, Brinker: Employers Need Not Force Meal Periods, and a follow up, Random Post-Brinker Thoughts
- Brinker Clarifies California Law on Meal and Rest Periods in a Pro-Employer Direction, from SheppardMullin’s Labor and Employment Law Blog
- Brinker: California Supreme Court Clarifies Standards for Meal Periods – Steps Employers Should Take Now at JD Supra.
- Steven G. Pearl has (appropriately enough from his perspective as a mediator) a more middle of the road view, California Supreme Court Issues Mixed Decision in Brinker.
- California employers must “provide” meal breaks, but need not “ensure” employees take them, from Ross Runkel’s Law Memo. Ross is not really in California, but is from Oregon (close enough) and gets an “academic” exemption as well.
Brinker seems to be one of those cases that not only generated a tremendous amount of interest but may actually may live up to its hype.