California Meal Break Liability hits RadioShackIn December 2012, The California Court of Appeal, rejected an employee’s complaint against his former employer, RadioShack, which alleged he was deprived of his right to an uninterrupted 30-minute meal break – a requirement under California state law. The Appeal court’s action in essence affirmed the April 2012 ruling by the California Supreme Court that class action law suits with regard to rest breaks be decertified.
A class action law suit of course is one where many plaintiffs formally come together under one umbrella to file a much larger claim against a defendant. Victories for defendants in these types of law suits have the potential to ruin a business, forcing many to shut down entirely.
The key consideration leading to The Court of Appeals landmark decision was RadioShack’s ability to establish that “it had a uniform policy of providing for meal periods and had a software program to assist management in scheduling employee hours and meal breaks.”
By sufficiently systematizing a laborious administrative task such as scheduling, RadioShack positioned itself to conveniently track the “wide variety of reasons why employees voluntarily chose not to take a full, uninterrupted meal period.” This data served as “substantial evidence” for a deposition testimony that demonstrated the individual circumstances of each plaintiff for missing meal breaks predominated over any common ones. Based on this, The Court of Appeal deemed class certification of the lawsuit as being ill-fitted, and rightly barred it.
Bottom line, if an employer is able to cite overwhelming evidence showing that their employees may skip meal breaks for all sorts of legitimate reasons, something achieved by utilizing a robust scheduling software solution, employers are positioning themselves to not only discourage creative lawyers from organizing class action meal-break lawsuits, but also defend themselves against any individual lawsuits that will inevitability arise over the course of business.
In response to the California security market’s concerns for an out-of-the-box employee scheduling solution, Celayix Software, a leading provider of Workforce Management Solutions, has joined forces with CALSAGA to offer the California Security market, more cost effectively, the automation technology that fundamentally solves its most critical and pervasive operational issues.
“The CALSAGA team is thrilled to announce our newest partnership with Celayix Software,” said Roy Rahn, CALSAGA Association Manager. “The Celayix staff has worked very hard to ensure that:
CALSAGA members will not only have access to some of the best workforce management software, but at the best rates as well.To learn more about this out-of-the-box solution that provides automates and audit-proofs the process of scheduling employee hours and their meal breaks, please join your colleagues and Celayix for a free informative Webinar on January 16, 2013: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/506243074
Their dedication to the industry has been apparent through their active participation as a vendor at the 2012 CALSAGA Annual Conference and continued support...".
|Andrew||We ran a webinar with special guest Gary Bradley, a California attorney and Meal Break Liability expert to speak more on the issue and provide tips to mitigate risk to the liability. Check out this link for the recording.|