Under Lab. Code 512, an employer must give an employee a meal break if the shift is 5 hours or longer, but the statute provides that if the total work period is not more than six hours, the employer and employee may waive this requirement by mutual agreement.  This decision holds that the requirement may be waived on employees’ behalf by a collective bargaining agreement, so long as it is clear and unmistakable.  To meet that standard, the agreement must mention either the statute whose protection is being waived or the statutory right being waived.  Here, the collective bargaining agreement satisfied the clear and unmistakable standard since it expressly referred to not require a meal break for employees who worked six hours or less in a day.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 2 (Ramirez, P.J.); August 13, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 708