SOME INSIGHT FROM THE CALIFORNIA LABOR COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE: Affirmative Steps Employers Can Take to Encourage Meal Breaks

In a recent victory on behalf of one of our clients, Ferber Law successfully defeated all claims for alleged missed meal breaks.  The opinion of the Labor Commissioner provides insight as to what employers can do to create evidence of providing employees with an opportunity to take a meal break and were not discouraged, impeded or otherwise prevented from taking meal breaks.

For example, the Hearing Officer found the following actions persuasive: the employee handbook informed employees of their right to take a meal break; the employer utilized a bell/alarm reminder system of the need to take a meal break; tables were provided for employee use during meal breaks and employees were free to leave the premises for the entirety of the meal break.

One of the most effective steps an employer can take is to require each employee to contemporaneously clock out and back in for each meal break. The employer should also communicate all meal break policies and expectations in writing to all of its employees.

If you need a check in on your company’s meal break policies, we are here to help.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.