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California Supreme Court Ruling - Meal and Rest Penalties = Wages

The California Supreme Court recently ruled that any premiums paid to employees who are unable to take a complete and timely meal or rest period should be considered“wages,” which not only triggers two critical obligations on the part of California employers but also reemphasizes the importance of meal and rest break compliance.

The California Supreme Court ruled that any premiums paid to employees who are unable to take a full meal or rest period should be considered “wages”. The decision means that any premiums you spend in this regard must be reported on statutorily required wage statements during employment and all “wages” must be paid within the statutory deadlines when an employee separates employment. 

What does this for our Employers?

Stay on Top of your Meal & Break Policy

This court case is a prime example of the importance of staying as up with a date with company policy as possible. More specifically in this case (and in California), meal, rest, and recovery breaks require employers to demonstrate an active attempt to comply with the law. This now refers to premium pay for missed breaks & how that premium pay is allocated.

work towards Compliant Practices

It is crucial for employers to contact an expert in the field, whether it be a legal contract and/or a payroll processor, and ensure they are taking the necessary step(s) towards compliance. Make sure the necessary internal personnel are aware of the premium pay changes & requirements for any missed meal break(s) moving forward. Be sure to consider all premiums and how they are calculated prior to a final paycheck.

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