California employers are hailing a rare labor law victory in California courts. Brinker International, Inc., which operates chain restaurants such as Chili's and Maggiano's Little Italy, successfully defended a claim by employees relating to work performed during meal and rest breaks. The court ruled that employers are obliged to provide meal and rest breaks mandated by California law, but are not required to monitor empoyees to ensure they do not perform any work during these breaks. If employees do voluntarily work during their breaks, the employer is not liable to these employees for such work. Employers continue to be liable for monetary penalties if meal and rest breaks are not provided.
Working Through Lunch? Not the Boss' Problem, Court Rules, Los Angeles Times, April 12, 2012.