Are you an hourly employee in California who wants to work through lunch so you can leave early to beat traffic? Under California law, your employer can’t let you do that without paying you for an extra hour’s salary: they risk suit, and there have been dozens of such suits in California this year. The Schwarzenegger administration is proposing administrative rule-changes to make meal breaks a voluntary option of employees, and unions are attacking him for “chipping away at workers’ rights” for trying to give the California rule the same flexibility as the federal rule. (Rachel Osterman, “Clash over new rules for lunch breaks”, Sacramento Bee, Dec. 15). More: NLJ, Jan. 31.