On May 23, 2022, the California Supreme Court in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc. held that an employer’s failure to pay premium pay to employees for missed meal or rest periods could also result in liability for waiting time penalties and wage statement penalties. Naranjo was a guard who was fired after leaving his post to take a meal period in violation of Spectrum’s policy that required custodial employees to remain on duty during all meal periods. Spectrum did not have a valid written on-duty meal break agreement with its employees. Naranjo brought a wage and hour class action lawsuit against Spectrum. California law generally requires employers to provide duty free meal periods of at least 30 minutes and rest periods of 10 minutes to most employees and if such are not provided, it must pay the employee “one (1) hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation.” The Naranjo court held that the premium pay required for such missed meal and rest periods constituted “wages” that therefore must be reported on an employee’s wage statement (i.e., pay stub) and be paid in a timely manner when the employment relationship is severed.
Advising And Defending Businesses