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.

California Supreme Court’s Brinker Decision Clarifies Employers’ Obligations Regarding Meal and Rest Breaks

by Sayema Hameed

On April 12, 2012, the California Supreme Court issued its long-anticipated decision in Brinker Restaurant Corporation et al. v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum) (Cal. Sup. Ct. Case No. S166350).  This case concerns a class action for failure to provide meal and rest breaks brought by non-exempt employees against defendant Brinker Restaurant Corporation, which owns and operates restaurants throughout California including Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy.  The Supreme Court’s decision is important in clarifying an employer’s obligations under California law with respect to providing meal and rest breaks to employees.  In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held as follows: