Restaurants Must Give Employees Breaks Every Five Hours, State Supreme Court Rules

Anyone who’s ever waited 20 minutes for a drink refill or extra sauce understands the frustration of having an overworked waiter. Usually the server takes the brunt of the teeth-grinding, and somebody at the table says something like, “Jeez, where is he at?” or “I guess he doesn’t want a good tip.”

 
Well, there’s a chance that that waiter was working nine consecutive hours — with no break.
 
But that probably won’t be happening anymore.
 
The California Supreme Court ruled today that restaurants must provide workers with a meal and rest for every five hours of labor, affirming a lower court’s decision that bans employers from forcing workers to take their break early in the shift so that they can work for longer stretches.
 
The ruling, however, stated that an employer is not obligated to make sure that employees actually take that break.
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