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You don’t have to force workers to take meal breaks

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

You no doubt know that employers have to provide for meal breaks under California law. But how far do you have to go to force employees to actually take the break? It turns out, not very far.

Recent case: As part of a larger lawsuit, a group of employees claimed that their employer didn’t do enough to ensure they took their meal breaks. The employer argued that by scheduling the breaks and not discouraging employees from eating, it did all it was required to do.

The court agreed. It said that employers don’t have to police meal breaks. They just have to make sure the time off is available and that workers perform no work during breaks. The law requires nothing more. (Muldrow v. Surrex Solutions, No. D057955, Court of Appeal of California, 4th Appellate District, 2012)

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