The rules on mealtimes and breaks will evolve with the evolution of the case law. Employers should be kept informed of the latest developments, as failure to provide meals and breaks under California law may result in bonuses, penalties and other potential damages under the California Labor Code and the California Business Professions Code. The first step in avoiding such a liability is to ensure that all employment policies and manuals comply with existing wage and hour legislation, and to effectively implement and implement regular self-assessment procedures. The worker and employer must have entered into a signed agreement to allow a service meal; and with respect to the allegation that the defendant did not foresee out-of-service meal times, the Court reaffirmed that the employer`s only duty was to provide meal hours in a timely and unserviced manner; the employer is not obliged to make the police meals to ensure that they are taken. In addition, the Court noted that ”what is sufficient [for an employer`s obligations to provide timely food breaks] may vary from industry to industry.” The court found that the accused had submitted a law-aenforcement staff manual, which informed staff of their correct schedules. The defendant had duly set aside the current salary schedules to advise workers on these rights. Other evidence was presented in court, in which staff confirmed that they were receiving their rights under the directive, that they were ultimately aware of their rights. Some employees stated that they refused to take hours of service in favour of maintaining employment. There was no evidence that the accused ever rejected a staff member`s request for a meal in a timely manner. The signed agreement expressly states that the worker may revoke the contract in writing at any time. Section 226.7 of the Labour Code prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to work during a meal or rest. As has already been said, the current wage order provisions for meal periods require that workers be exempt from any obligation during a meal period. However, such a requirement is not explicitly included in the pause provision.
On this basis, the Court of Appeal found that the extra-military requirement was not intended for rest periods. The court found that there were practical challenges in providing a service meal, regardless of duration, and stated that it did not agree with an acceptable meal. The California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement also identified examples of jobs that could be considered due to the nature of workplace collaboration for in-service meals; These tasks include a single worker at a coffee kiosk, a single worker in a store all night and a security guard, alone stationed on a remote site. However, employers should bear in mind that even workers who employ these positions can be controlled by the courts and the Labour Commission and that they cannot be allowed to receive meals at the service, depending on the demand. That`s why it`s so important to consult an employment lawyer before deciding to offer or accept breaks of service. Recent court decisions in California provide additional guidance on the appropriateness of california`s rest and meal periods.