Phew! US law firms can breathe a sigh of relief after a US Supreme Court ruled that their lawyers can continue to beaver away for the billable hour without taking a lunch break.
As CIO Today reports, last week the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that employers are under no obligation to ensure that their employees actually take their lunch break to which they are legally entitled.
The case arose after lawyers acting on behalf of workers argued that abuses are routine and widespread at companies which do not ensure employees take their designated lunch break. The lawyers claimed that employers take advantage of workers who do not want to leave their colleagues during busy times.
While most lawyers would be familiar with the unspoken expectation that they work through their lunch break (and their breakfast and dinner in many cases) to meet their billable targets, now it has been confirmed that law firms don’t have to stop it from happening.
In a win for law firms across the state, the Supreme Court ruled that requiring businesses to order breaks would be unmanageable and that the decision should be left to workers.
Well, Folklaw can only laugh at the thought of a lawyer deciding to walk out of the office to take an hour for lunch while their colleagues give them piercing looks of disapproval as they do what it takes to clock their seven-odd hours of billable work.