More on California meal and rest breaks


It looks like the California meal and rest break saga has no end. Case in point: Cole v. CRST Van Expedited (9th Cir 08/01/2019) [PDF].

The 9th Circuit has certified the following questions to the California Supreme Court:

(1) Does the absence of a formal policy regarding meal and rest breaks violate California law?

(2) Does an employer's failure to keep records for meal and rest breaks taken by its employees create a rebuttable presumption that the meal and rest breaks were not provided?

Cole, a truck driver, brought class action claims on behalf of himself and other truck drivers alleging the employer failed to give them rest and meal breaks. The district court ruled in favor of the employer.

Cole maintains that the district court erroneously concluded that the employer complied with California law simply because it did not prevent its employees from taking breaks. Cole asserts that California law mandates that the employer affirmatively provide breaks by adopting a policy authorizing them. Cole emphasizes that the employer did not have such a policy, did not record meal breaks on its payroll statements, and did not pay its drivers for rest breaks.