Court finds staffing agency not liable for meal period violations

Staffing agencies that provide temporary employees are a tempting target for plaintiffs' attorneys eager to test the limits of joint-employer/independent-contractor arguments in today's gig economy. In a recent case, the California Court of Appeal shot down an employee's attempt to establish a joint-employer/independent-contractor relationship between her direct employer, a staffing agency, and its customer, a bakery where she was assigned to work. The court held that the staffing agency wasn't liable for the bakery's failure to provide or enforce meal periods. The case reinforces strong California law limiting staffing agency liability and provides helpful guidance on avoiding liability for meal period violations.

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