California Supreme Court Clarifies Whether Missed-Break Premiums Are ‘Wages’ That Trigger Derivative Penalties

Posted In Employment, Labor

On May 23, 2022, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Naranjo v. Spectrum Sec. Servs. Inc. (Naranjo), holding that meal and rest break premiums (also known as extra pay or premium pay) constitute “wages” that: (1) must be accurately reported on employee wage statements pursuant to Labor Code section 226 and (2) must be timely paid to employees to avoid waiting time penalties pursuant to Labor Code section 203. The Court explained that “although the extra pay is designed to compensate for the unlawful deprivation of a guaranteed break, it also compensates for the work the employee performed during the break period.” Thus, employees may be entitled to wage statement penalties and waiting time penalties where the employee worked through their break.

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Chris Braham
Christopher A. Braham focuses his practice on employment litigation and counseling. Christopher represents employers in all stages of employment litigation, including in putative class action, single and multi-plaintiff lawsuits concerning claims for meal and rest period violations, failure to pay wages and bonuses, off-the-clock work, misclassification, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination and misappropriation of trade secrets. Christopher advocates for clients in state and federal courts and administrative agencies, including in proceedings before the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Division of Labor Enforcement Standards and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Read Christopher Braham's full bio.


Yesenia M. Gallegos
Yesenia M. Gallegos focuses her labor and employment practice on a wide range of matters, including restrictive covenants, wage and hour law, discrimination and harassment claims, executive employment agreements, leaves of absence, employee terminations and reductions in force. Yesenia represents employers in employment litigation—including class actions—pending in both state and federal court. She also represents employers in actions against former employees in trade-secret and embezzlement actions that require immediate restraining orders, injunctions and/or liens. Read Yesenia Gallegos' full bio.


Paulina Chau
Paulina focuses her practice on employment matters. Her employment practice encompasses single-plaintiff litigation, class action litigation and employment counseling. She defends employers in state and federal lawsuits alleging wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and retaliation.Read Paulina Chau's full bio.

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