Today, the California Supreme Court granted reivew of Brinkley v. Public Storage, Inc.:

Case: S168806, Supreme Court of California

Date (YYYY-MM-DD): 2009-01-14
Event Description: Review granted/briefing deferred (8.512(d)(2) civil case)
The petition for review is GRANTED. Further action in this matter is deferred pending consideration and disposition of a related issue in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, S166350 (see Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.512(d)(2)), or pending further order of the court. Submission of additional briefing, pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 8.520, is deferred pending further order of the court.

The lower appellate court in Brinkley basically had the same holding as the lower court in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, that employers need to only provide, not ensure, employees with their 30-minute meal break under California law.  The California Supreme Court granted review of Brinker, which meant that employers could not rely upon the very helpful ruling.  Then Brinkley was decided shoretly thereafter by another appellate court, which still allowed employers to argue that they only need to provide meal breaks.  But because of this recent action by the Court, the standard will finally be clarified by the California Supreme Court. 

It is likely to take at least one year for the Suprme Court to provide a ruling in Brinker.