Truck drivers in California are entitled to paid rest breaks and meal breaks, according to a Wednesday ruling from a federal court in San Francisco.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a California law requiring a 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked and a 30-minute meal period every five hours, when a work period is more than five hours, does not violate a 1994 federal law.
The ruling reinstates a class action lawsuit brought by nearly 350 drivers who pickup and deliver appliances for Penske Logistics. They claimed they often work more than 10 hours per day and are required or encouraged to take unpaid breaks.
A lower court earlier ruled against the drivers. This latest ruling sends the case back to the lower court for consideration.
While the ruling did not address California-based truckers who make deliveries in other states, the lawyer representing the drivers said he believed it should.
The drivers were supported by the U.S. Transportation Department in a brief it filed with the appeals court.