On Friday, the Court of Appeal (Fourth Appellate District, Division One) penned this paragraph about UCL restitution in wage and hour cases:
Plaintiffs' third cause of action seeks restitution under Business and Professions Code section 17203 for the unpaid one hour of pay. Employees earn the additional hour of pay when they are denied a meal or rest period; thus, the payments under [Labor Code] section 226.7 are restitutionary and recoverable under California's Unfair Competition Law. (Tomlinson v. Indymac Bank F.S.B. [(C.D.Cal. 2005)] 359 F.Supp.2d [891,] 896.)National Steel & Shipbuilding Co. v. Superior Court, ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Jan. 20, 2006) (slip op. at 18). In other words, the statutorily-determined value of the missed meal or rest period constitutes recoverable restitution. That value—the worth of the lost opportunity for rest and refreshment—was wrongfully withheld from the employees, and the UCL requires the employer to restore it to them.