Ruling Clarifies Meal, Rest Break Penalties Calculation
By Matthew J. Roberts, Esq.
On Wednesday, October 9, 2019, the California Court of Appeal issued a long-awaited clarification
of California’s meal and rest break penalty provision (Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC). The court was asked to interpret whether the phrase “regular rate of compensation” meant the same as the “regular rate of pay,” which is used to calculate overtime premiums, or whether it meant the base hourly rate that employers pay their nonexempt employees.
In comparing both the overtime and meal and rest period statutes, the court reasoned that if the Legislature wanted the terms “compensation” and “pay” to mean the same thing, they would have used the same words.