On July 30, 2008, this blog reported that the DLSE had already updated its enforcement materials in response to Brinker Restaurant Corporation, et al. v. Hohnbaum, et al (July 22, 2008). The information now coming to light is significantly more troubling than a simple revision of DLSE enforcement materials. In a July 25, 2008 Memorandum entitled Binding Court Ruling on Meal and Rest Period Requirements, Angela Bradstreet, the Labor Commissioner, described Brinker as a “binding court ruling,” without noting that Brinker is one of two decisions that interpret regulations governing meal breaks (the other being Cicairos v Summit Logistics, Inc. (2005) 133 Cal App.4th 949, which still stands as valid authority).
The California Labor Federation was none too pleased with the July 25, 2008 Memorandum. In strongly-worded correspondence of July 30, 2008, the California Labor Federation took Ms. Bradstreet to task for what it persuasively described as a biased, pro-employer approach from the very regulatory body charged with enforcing employee-protective laws and regulations. And by fortunate happenstance, I've stumbled across a copy of that correspondence (with attachments):
The correspondence can also be downloaded in pdf format here. The letter is definitely worth reading.
Because of the significance of this issue, I intend to set this post so that, for at least the next week, it appears as the first post on The Complex Litigator (assuming nothing else demands top billing in that time). So be sure to check below to see new posts.