Monday, May 21, 2007

California Employees Granted Three Years to Sue Employers for Compensation for Missed Breaks

The California Supreme Court today ruled that employees have up to three years to pursue claims that their employer failed to provide required breaks, not one as was previously assumed by many employers. The stakes are high, because California law provides that, upon filing a claim, employers must pay to an employee one hour of pay for each rest or meal break that was not provided to the employee in accordance with California employment law. The law, enacted in 2000, has spurred numerous class action law suits.

California employers should take this opportunity to have an employment attorney review their employee manual and employment practices to ensure compliance and to assist in avoiding many of the legal land mines that exist in this area for unwary employers. Those without an employee manual or a knowledge of California employment law are especially vulnerable and should take heed of this warning.

The case in question is Murphy v. Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc., 07 C.D.O.S. 3958. More details on the ruling can be found at

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