On November 8, 2011, the California Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Brinker v. Hohnbaum, which poses whether employers must ensure that employees take meal periods or simply make them available to employees.  Most courts, especially California state courts, have concluded that employers must provide – or make available – such periods, but not guarantee they are taken.  Consistent with this approach, Judge James P. Kleinberg of the Santa Clara County Superior Court recently ruled in Driscoll v. Graniterock that the company met its meal period obligations by allowing drivers the opportunity to take a meal period, even though most drivers opted for an on-duty meal with attendant premium pay and earlier departure time.  However, some other courts have gone a step further and required employers to force employees to take their meal periods.  The ultimate decision in Brinker, which is expected to issue by February 2012, is anticipated to give employers much needed, conclusive guidance about their meal period obligations