California Taco Bell employees may want to start bringing their lunch from home.
A recently court-upheld decision allows the fast food chain to ban customers that use their employee discount to purchase food from eating off-site, Inc. reported.
The lunchtime restrictions only apply to employees who are using their employee discount. Taco Bell employees that bring food from home or purchase a meal from Taco Bell at full price are allowed to leave and eat wherever they choose.
However, employees feel that limits their break time. In a class-action lawsuit, Taco Bell workers argued that being forced to remain in the building during their lunch entitled them to wages, since they would be seen as on-call.
Taco Bell denied the claim, stating their employees are relieved of all duties during their lunch break.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Taco Bell and upheld the policy:
"The panel held that California law was not violated because Taco Bell relieved their employees of all duties during the meal break period and exercised no control over their activities, where employees were free to use the thirty minutes in any way they wished, subject only to the restriction that if they purchased a discounted meal, they had to eat in the restaurant,” Food & Wine reported.
According to the company, the policy is used to prevent workers from using their discount to purchase meals for friends and family members.