Are meal period premiums part of the "regular rate" in FLSA cases? One District Court says, "No."

In a news article entitled Must Employers Include Meal-Period Premium Payments in the "Regular Rate" Used to Compute the Overtime Owed to Their Employees?, it is reported that, on February 25, 2009, Judge Saundra B. Armstrong of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that meal-period premiums mandated by California Labor Code Section 226.7 need not be included in the "regular rate" for purposes of calculating an employee's overtime compensation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. para 201 et seq.   The ruling was issued in the context of a putative state-wide class-action in Rubin v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. CV 08-4214.