Several lawsuits have plagued the restaurant industry. One specific lawsuit is the meal-and-rest break lawsuit involving Chili’s parent Brinker International Inc. This lawsuit was finally resolved when the California Supreme Court ruled that employers across the state need not ensure that workers actually take mandated thirty minute breaks during their shifts. However, the employers must make meal and rest breaks available within a certain time during shifts and they must also keep records of such breaks.
I have worked in a restaurant where breaks were not a major concern for management. My boss would always say, “if you have time to lean you have time to clean.” Most of the time, if I had time to lean I wanted to lean into a plate of food. It was hard for me to run around the restaurant for ten hours without a break. Needless to say, I did not work at that restaurant for very long.
The California Supreme Court’s decision will allow employees an opportunity for a meal break, but will not force them to take a break they may not want. “The court declared the law to be precisely what employees and employers have always thought: it is the employee’s choice to take a meal break, not something forced on employees by the government” (Nation’s Restaurant News).
Turnover rates can cost a business thousands of dollars a year. Most of the time employees quit because they are unhappy with their schedules. If you schedule an employee to work ten hours without a lunch break, they are most likely going to quit. On the other hand, if you schedule an employee to work for three hours and force them to take an unpaid break, they are also likely to quit.
TimeForge can help resolve all these issues and help reduce your turnover rate. TimeForge has several break options that can make your life easier. You can set break rules that will automatically generate a break. One example is, you can set a thirty minute break to generate every five hours. You can also choose between paid and unpaid, required or not required. These settings could help your restaurant avoid an expensive lawsuit! I wish that the restaurant I worked so hard at had used TimeForge breaks!