PG&E has announced that, commencing April 1st, it will stop paying employees covered by our collective bargaining agreements the extra hour of pay required by law for missed meal periods. PG&E claims this action is allowed by legislation enacted last year, known as A.B. 569.
This new law does relieve PG&E of the obligation to pay the missed-meal extra hour of pay, but only for some represented employees — specifically, those employees whose schedule expressly provides for an off-duty meal period. (Note: This does not relieve PG&E of any contractual obligations.)
But PG&E intends to apply A.B. 569 beyond what the legislature intended, and beyond its plain language. PG&E intends to stop paying the missed—meal extra hour of pay to employees whose schedules do not expressly provide for an off-duty meal period, such as shift workers and other employees whose workday consists of 8, 9, 10 or 12 consecutive hours.
Our attorneys have researched PG&E’s overly broad application of A.B. 569 and have concluded that PG&E will be violating the law if it stops paying the missed-meal extra hour of pay to those employees when they miss a meal period and they are working a schedule that does not expressly provide for an off-duty meal period.
Accordingly, we will take appropriate legal action to ensure that our members are paid the full compensation to which they are entitled by contract and by independent state law —including any back pay damages resulting from missed-meal payment denied.