Discounted meal policy requiring employees to stay on company premises upheld

In Rodriguez v. Taco Bell Corp., 896 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 2018), an employee brought a putative class action alleging that Taco Bell’s discounted meal policy effectively denied employees the ability to take a duty free meal break.  At issue in this case was Taco Bell’s policy of offering a discounted meal from the restaurant during the employees’ meal breaks as long as the employees ate the meal on the company’s premises.  The ability to purchase discounted meals was voluntary.  The policy was implemented to prevent theft.  The employees argued that because they were required to remain on the company’s property in order to obtain the discounted meal they employees were not provided a duty free meal break.  The court rejected Plaintiff’s argument and held that Taco Bell’s policy complied with California law.  Here are five issues California employers should understand about the decision: 1. Meal and rest break…

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