The California Supreme Court handed workers a major victory Monday, in effect tripling the back pay they can seek if they are forced to work through meal and rest breaks required by state law.
The long-awaited decision affects hundreds of thousands of white-collar workers in industries such as retail, food service, insurance and banking who are called managers or assistant managers but who spend much of their day ringing up sales, stocking shelves or sweeping the floor alongside the workers they oversee.
Class-action lawsuits by employees seeking back pay for overtime and missed breaks have risen dramatically over the last decade, and lawyers predicted that Monday’s ruling would encourage more suits and possibly lead another attempt to change labor laws and regulations.
The report relates to Murphy v. Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc., No. S140308 (Cal. Apr. 16, 2007).