Brinker: California Supreme Court Clarifies Meal Period standards - Steps employers should take

In California, employers have been challenged for years in dealing with how to comply with cumbersome and vague meal and rest period rules. Millions of dollars have been spent to battle and/or settle countless individual lawsuits and class actions alleging meal and rest period violations. Last week the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Brinker Restaurant Group v. Superior Court of San Diego answering these questions including:

What does it mean to "provide" a meal period?
Do meal periods have to be provided in rolling five-hour increments?
Are early (or late) lunches allowed?
Must employers ensure that their employees actually take these mandated breaks?