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Security Guards On Duty Meal Break Waivers

Security guards filed a PAGA notice on behalf of aggrieved employees alleging they were systematically provided meal break waivers without engaging in an individualized investigation into the nature of the workplace to confirm whether or not it was possible for the guards to take meal breaks. Following the line of reasoning in Abdullah v. U.S. Security Associates, Inc. & Faulkinbury v. Boyd & Assocs., 216 Cal. App. 4th 220 (2013), such a systematic approach generally renders it a certifiable issue. Further, the DLSE has consistently set the standard in its opinion letters that any exception to off-duty meal breaks must be narrowly construed and that the factors, provided as a whole, must render it “virtually impossible” to take off-duty meal breaks. As a result, we feel our client has a strong case/representative action for meal break violations. As to rest breaks, aggrieved employees argued that off-duty rest breaks were not provided because guards were required to remain on-call during their rest breaks. It did not bid well that employer did not have a rest break policy whatsoever. Case settled.