California Supreme Court must rule on meal break pay

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has asked the California Supreme Court to answer several questions about meal breaks and whether certain employees are entitled to additional payments for missed meals.

Recent case: A group of California ambulance personnel work 24-hour shifts at a time. They are paid for every hour, whether they are responding to calls, sleeping or engaging in leisure activities such as reading or watching television. They are not fully relieved of the responsibility to respond to ambulance calls during their meal periods.

They sued, alleging that they should have been either fully relieved or should have received premium pay for those meal periods, in addition to their regular pay.

The federal court could find no case law on the question and therefore asked the California Supreme Court to provide the answer. (Stewart et al. v. San Luis Ambulance, 9th Cir., 2017)