Michael S. Kun, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice in the Los Angeles office, was quoted by Law360 on two cases before the California Supreme Court that could become influential precedents for overtime actions across the U.S.
The article, “Labor And Employment Cases to Watch In 2010,” analyzed Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court and Brinkley v. Public Storage Inc., which concern issues of meal and rest periods for employees. In both cases, state appeals courts found that the requirement for employers to provide meal and rest breaks to workers meant only that the employer had to make those periods “available,” not “ensure” that breaks were actually taken.
Kun explained that while the issue might appear to be little more than semantics to a layperson, the decision in fact is one with a multi-billion dollar impact upon California employers. He added that if the court rules employers must ensure breaks are taken, that would saddle employers with a difficult — and arguably impossible — obligation. It would also have a “huge impact on pending and future class actions,” Kun said.