This week the California Supreme Court ruled employers don’t have to ensure workers take legally mandated lunch breaks.
Hundreds of local businesses are impacted by the unanimous April 12 opinion that found forcing companies to oversee lunch breaks is unmanageable.
The opinion written by Associate Justice Kathryn Werdegar explained that while state law still requires employers to provide a 30-minute meal break, employees can use the time to do as they please.
"The employer is not obligated to police meal breaks and ensure no work thereafter is performed," Werdegar wrote.
In 2001, California became one of only a few states to impose penalties for employers who violate meal-break law.
The April 12 decision stemmed from a case filed nine years ago by workers against Dallas-based Brinker International, the parent company of Chili's and other restaurants. The workers complained of missed breaks in violation of California labor law.