Seyfarth Shaw Los Angeles Labor & Employment partner Jon Meer was quoted by the National Law Journal (NLJ) in a May 8 article about the decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court and what it means for wage-and-hour litigation in California.
The article discussed a case in which a Los Angeles judge refused to certify a class of telecommunications workers who had sued their employer, Telecom Network Specialists, for denying them meal and rest breaks. Jon represented Networkers International LLC, a staffing company that was consolidated into the Telecom Network Specialists case as an additional defendant. In the interview, Jon discussed Brinker and what it means for wage-and-hour litigation in California.
"The Brinker decision held that an employer has an obligation only to provide meal periods — meaning, make meal periods available — but does not have an obligation to ensure that employees actually take their meal periods," Jon remarked. However, he indicated that many employees were not aware that they were able to take a rest or lunch break,"...employees are sent out to do repair calls and maintenance calls on these towers. Many of them testified that they had 20 or 30 calls per day, so they drove from location to location but they never were informed they had the right to take a meal period or rest period…" Jon posited that because of the interpretation of the law on breaks, there will be future citing in wage and hour cases.