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California Meal Period Collective Bargaining Agreement

The cashiers of a WinCo Foods were hourly employees who were part of a union. The CBA between the union and WinCo said that if a work period not exceeding six hours ends the one-day work, an hour of meals is not necessary. After the employees sued WinCo for non-delivery of meal times, WinCo sought a summary judgment to dismiss the lawsuit, on the grounds that the CBA had waived the employees` legal right to eat. The court granted WinCo`s request and the employees appealed. The complaint was filed in August 2008 and first asserted a large number of rights to the working hour, including meal time, rest, regular remuneration, final salary, pay slip (wage moderation), reimbursement of expenses and rights to unfair commercial practices. An appeal was also brought under the Private Attorneys General Act ("PAGA"). Sheppard Mullin successfully defended the lawsuit in the Court of Justice by denying class certification and obtaining a summary judgment in Orange Coast`s favor on all claims, including the paga application. If union members worked shifts of more than five hours, but not more than six hours, they were denied a meal break. However, if they worked in shifts for more than six hours, they were given a meal break. After the adoption of Section 11(D), but before its entry into force, The Legislator adopted SB 88, which amended Section 516 of the Labour Code in order to limit the scope of the powers of the IWC after the entry into force of SB 88.

On the other hand, it amended section 516 to read: "Except as provided in section 512, the [CBI] may stop or modify working conditions with respect to breaks and meal times." Prior to the amendment of SB 88, section 516 stated: "Notwithstanding other legal provisions, the [CBI] may adopt or amend working conditions with respect to break periods, meal times and rest days. . . . It was therefore clear that SB 88 was amending the law, including the authority of the IWC. The lunch break must be agreed no later than five (5) hours after the start of work. A worker who has to work during his lunch break receives half of his normal rate for this period. The worker must be allowed to have lunch as soon as possible. An earlier departure time or a derogation from the scheduled meal time may be agreed with the agreement of the majority of employees at the workplace in a survey carried out by the steward, provided that work does not start before 2:00 a.m.m. . . .