California: Court of Appeal Confirms On-Duty Meals Must be 30 Minutes Minimum

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July 31, 2019

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In L’Chaim House, Inc. v. Div. of Labor Standards Enforcement, the California Court of Appeal confirmed that meal periods must always be at least 30 minutes in length, regardless of whether or not the meal period is on or off-duty.

This decision helps provide clarity to an exception in Wage Order 5 which states that employees working in 24-hour residential care facilities for the elderly could be provided on-duty meal periods without penalty under certain circumstances.  In L’Chaim, the employer had provided workers with on-duty meal penalties of less than 30 minutes, arguing that the Wage Order 5 exception permitted it to do so. The Court of Appeal disagreed.

While the L’Chaim decision provides clarity to this specific exception, the case demonstrates that employers should be cautious when interpreting Wage Order obligations.

Action Items

  1. Review meal periods for compliance with applicable wage orders.
  2. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2019 ManagEase

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