Alcantar v. Hobart Serv., 800 F.3d 1047 (9th Cir. 2015)

Joséluis Alcantar filed this action against his employer to represent a putative class of service technicians for the time spent commuting in the employer’s service vehicles from their homes to their jobsites and then back again. Alcantar also alleged failure to provide the technicians with meal and rest breaks. The district court denied class certification and granted partial summary judgment to Hobart. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed in part, holding that the district court improperly reached the merits of Alcantar’s claims in denying class certification rather than focusing on whether the questions presented in connection with the commute-time claims were common to the class. However, the Court affirmed denial of certification of the meal-and-rest break class claims, holding that the putative class failed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3) because questions as to why the service technicians missed their meal and rest breaks varied.

The Court reversed the partial summary judgment that had been entered in favor of Hobart on the commute-time claims on the ground that Alcantar had raised a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether the technicians are as a practical matter required to commute in the employer’s vehicles. Finally, the Court affirmed dismissal of the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) claims on the ground that Alcantar’s written notice of his PAGA claim did not contain sufficient facts to comply with the statute’s notice requirement. See also Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail N. Am., Inc., 2015 WL 5667912 (9th Cir. 2015) (Ninth Circuit follows Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, 59 Cal. 4th 348 (2014), barring waiver of PAGA claims); Miranda v. Anderson Enter., Inc., 2015 WL 6081934 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) (same).