California Labor Code provisions specifying when and where employees should take their meals don’t apply to public employees.
Recent case: Officers working for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sued the state when they weren’t being provided with “meal breaks or a safe, hygienic place to eat” as required by Wage Order No. 17.
That meant they had to “choose between working a full shift without eating or ‘eating on the run’ while working ... in one of the state’s least hygienic environments.”
The Court of Appeal of California analyzed the wage order and the statute on which it is based and concluded that it applies only to private-sector employees. (California Correctional Peace Officers’ Association v. State of California, No. A125679, Court of Appeal of California, 2010)