Employment Law Alert – Supreme Court Grants Review of Brinker Case

August 29, 2008

On August 29, 2008, the California Supreme Court granted review of the Fourth District Court of Appeals’ decision in Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court of San Diego (Hohnbaum).  The prior appellate court in the Brinker case held that employers have some flexibility in scheduling meal periods and rest breaks, and that while employers must provide meal periods, they are not necessarily liable if employees do not actually take them.  This holding was a departure from prior California law on the topic of meal and rest breaks.  By granting a hearing to review this decision, the California Supreme Court has rendered it invalid as legal authority and employers should no longer rely on the appellate court’s decision.  Berliner Cohen will keep its clients apprised of new developments in Brinker.