California Supreme Court Says Companies Don’t Have To Make Employees Take Breaks

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The California Supreme Court has ruled that companies are not obligated to make sure employees take their lunch breaks.

By law, companies have to offer the break time, but don’t have to force employees to take it, a decision reached after workers’ attorneys argued that companies are abusing their employees when they don’t reinforce lunch breaks.

A labor lawyer who represents employers tells KNX the ruling means that employees do have the right to choose whether or not they want to waive their lunch break, but employers still have the right to control the break schedule.

“The employer still has the ability to schedule lunch breaks, and the employer has the ability to require employees to take the lunch break,” she told KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore.

The issue arose from a case filed nine years ago against the company that owns Chili’s and Maggiano’s restaurants.

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