On Aug. 2, the California Labor Commission convened a public forum on the topic of meal and rest-break rules to address concerns from employees and employers that the current regulations create confusing and conflicting requirements.
During the forum, employees and labor union officials urged Commissioner Angela Bradstreet not to change current state rules for employee meal and rest-break periods. However, they asked for more flexibility and clarity about the rules. Many employers at the forum complained that the current rules require them to force workers to take breaks when the workers do not want to or at times that disrupt business.
Rather than enforcing a mandatory break every five hours, some employers expressed a preference to notify their workers that they are entitled to a break and to let them decide when to take it. Nevertheless employee groups said the current rules are necessary to protect workers. Bradstreet said she plans to continue to hold many public forums to take comments on a wide range of labor issues.