Today, the California Supreme Court set oral argument in Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum) to take place on November 8, 2011. The Court typically provides a ruling on cases within 90 days of oral argument, so I expect a ruling very early in 2012.
This case is the much anticipated ruling on whether employers need to “ensure” meal breaks or merely make the breaks available to employees. The Supreme Court explains, "This case presents issues concerning the proper interpretation of California’s statutes and regulations governing an employer’s duty to provide meal and rest breaks to hourly workers." Click here for a detailed analysis of the lower court’s ruling and the different issues that the Supreme Court may address.
The Supreme Court has issued "grant and hold" order pending the ruling in Brinker for the following cases and the Brinker decision will likely determine the issues in these cases as well:
S168806 BRINKLEY v. PUBLIC STORAGE
S184995 FAULKINBURY v. BOYD & ASSOCIATES
S186357 BROOKLER v. RADIOSHACK CORPORATION
S188755 HERNANDEZ v. CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL
S191756 TIEN v. TENET HEALTHCARE
S194064 LAMPS PLUS OVERTIME CASES
S195866 SANTOS v. VITAS HEALTHCARE
I will continue to provide case updates routinely as the decision nears.