Employer Didn’t Have to Tell Staff about Right to Revoke Meal Period Agreement

HR Hero’s California Employment Law Letter

Elizabeth J. Boca, an Associate in the Employment, Labor, and Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s San Francisco office, authored an article in HR Hero’s California Employment Law Letter titled “Employer Didn’t Have to Tell Staff about Right to Revoke Meal Period Agreement.”

Following is an excerpt:

24-hour care business repercussions

The court of appeal noted that by law, Care Homes is required to provide 24-hour care to clients to protect them from illness, injury, fire, and other emergencies. If an employee were permitted to revoke the on-duty meal period requirement at any time and without advance notice, the employer would have to alter scheduling practices to ensure the employee could exercise the right at any time while clients still received continuous care. Palacio v. Jan & Gail's Care Homes, Inc. (California Court of Appeal, 5th Appellate District, 12/7/15).

Bottom line

This decision is good news for the 24-hour residential care industry. This case also functions as a reminder to review your meal period and rest break policies and procedures and ensure that on-duty meal agreements and meal period waivers are legally compliant and in writing.