Second Meal Period Waivers For California Healthcare Workers Are Legal


The California Court of Appeal recently resolved in the affirmative the legality of second meal period waivers for healthcare employees who work shifts longer than twelve (12) hours. Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center (“Gerard II”) (Case No. G048039, filed 3/1/17). The Court of Appeal concluded that second meal period waivers for healthcare workers who work longer than 12-hour shifts ARE indeed valid and legal. The court reached this conclusion only after the California state legislature passed emergency legislation to clarify the Labor Code statutes and confirm the enforceability of the second meal period waiver.

Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals: Doctor Who Loses Hospital Privileges Does Not Have To Exhaust Judicial Remedies Before Filing Lawsuit Under Whistleblower Law


by Sayema Hameed

Is a doctor who claims that he lost his hospital privileges in retaliation for being a whistleblower required to “exhaust his judicial remedies” by pursuing judicial review of the hospital’s decision before he can file a separate whistleblower lawsuit under California Health and Safety Code Section 1278.5?

In a new case,  Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals (Fifth District, Case No. F063023; filed 8/14/12), the California Court of Appeal has answered this question: No, the doctor does not have to exhaust judicial remedies through writ proceedings first.  The doctor can directly bring a lawsuit against the hospital for whistleblower retaliation.