Brinker International, one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies, announced yesterday that the California Supreme Court has issued an opinion in Brinker Restaurant Corp. et al. v. The Superior Court for the State of California for the County of San Diego (Hohnbaum). This long-awaited decision, on which Hunton & Williams attorneys M. Brett Burns, Laura M. Franze, and Susan J. Sandidge served as counsel of record for Brinker, resolves multiple first-impression issues regarding California meal period and rest break class actions. Among other things, the Court answered fundamentally important questions regarding the nature of an employer’s duty with respect to employee meal periods, concluding that the duty is to provide a meal period, with the employee thereafter at liberty to use the meal period for whatever purpose he or she desires, and rejecting the suggestion that the employer must ensure that no work is done. This landmark decision will benefit California employers and employees, and provide important guidance for employers defending meal period and rest break wage and hour class actions in California. If you have any questions about the Brinker case, please call our California partners.