Meal and Rest Break Compliance After the Brinker Decision

Navigating Wage and Hour Implications for Employers

Long-awaited decision, issued Apr. 12, has implications for employers nationwide

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, May 31, 2012

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide employment law counsel with a review of the Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Ct. decision, analyze the gray areas of the ruling, explain how the decision may impact future wage and hour litigation, and discuss compliance best practices for employers.


On Apr. 12, 2012, the California Supreme Court issued its long-anticipated decision on employee meal break and rest break claims in Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Ct. The ruling favorably clarifies many questions employers had about California’s meal and rest break requirements.

In light of this decision, employers should update their meal and rest break policies to require managers to inform non-exempt employees that they are allowed a meal break within the first five hours of work and to provide the employees with appropriate breaks.

The Brinker decision also clarified the standards for class certification, effectively foreclosing certification in many instances. Employers’ counsel should understand when the risks of class certification may still exist.

Listen as attorney Rex Heinke, who argued the case on behalf of Brinker Restaurant, and his partner, attorney Donna Mezias, analyze the court's opinion, discuss the future of meal and rest break litigation, and explain strategies for employers to ensure wage and hour compliance.



  1. Understanding the court's decision in Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Ct.
  2. Impact of ruling on wage and hour litigation
  3. Best practices for employers to avoid compliance pitfalls


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What did Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Court hold?
  • What did Brinker leave undecided?
  • What are the implications of the Brinker decision for employers?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Rex S. Heinke
Rex S. Heinke

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

He is co-head of the firm's Supreme Court and Appellate Practice. He has argued over 100 appeals in federal and state...  |  Read More

Donna M. Mezias
Donna M. Mezias

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

She represents employers in all types of employment litigation, including class action and individual discrimination...  |  Read More

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