SACRAMENTO - North State Assemblyman and Chief Republican Whip Dan Logue applauded the decision of the California Supreme Court in favor of businesses and employers today. The court's decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court of San Diego County ruled that employers must provide meal and rest breaks to their employees, but they do not have to force employees to take their breaks.
"This is huge for small businesses across the state, from mom and pop restaurants to doctor offices to construction companies," said Logue. "Small businesses have been held hostage by California's strict meal and rest break laws for years and this will bring tremendous relief as our economy begins to emerge from the recession."
The lawsuit, Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court of San Diego County, centered on Section 512 of the state's Labor Code, which prohibits a business from working an employee for more than five hours in a day without "providing the employee with a meal period of not less than 30 minutes." Labor unions argued that "providing" meant that the business had to ensure the employee was relieved of all duties and forced to take the break. Businesses argued that it was unreasonable for them to have to force employees to take their breaks. They said that it was unfair for them to be punished when an employee delays taking their mandatory break or cuts it short of the full 30 minutes required by law.
"Today's victory will encourage job creation in the state, but we still have a long way to go in bringing regulatory relief to California businesses," Logue added. "Watch for labor unions to attempt to change the law in their favor."
Labor unions are expected to attempt to pass legislation to overturn this decision by the close of this legislative session, which ends in August.
Assemblyman Logue represents the 3rd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Butte, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra and Yuba.