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HR Update: California Meal and Rest Break Violations Must Be Paid at the Premium Rate

By July 26, 2021 No Comments

The California Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel that employers must pay employees for missed meal, rest, and recovery breaks at the employee’s regular rate of pay rather than the base hourly rate. When determining the regular rate of pay, the employer must include commissions, non-discretionary bonuses, piece-rate compensation, shift differential pay, and any other agreed upon non-discretionary payments.  

The regular rate of pay is calculated by dividing an employee’s total earnings for the workweek by the total hours worked. Total earnings include the base rate of pay and commissions, non-discretionary bonuses, piece-rate compensation, shift differential pay, and any other agreed upon non-discretionary payments earned in the applicable workweek.

The Court’s decision is retroactive and applies to past claims so long as they fall within the four-year statute of limitations. 

A link to the California Supreme Court’s ruling may be found here.

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