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California Employment Law Blog

Category Archives: Class Actions

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Del Mar Fairgrounds/Horsepark Employees Are Exempt From Overtime Under The Amusement Exemption

Posted in California Labor & Employment Law, Class Actions, Exempt Employees, FLSA, Overtime

Morales v. 22nd Dist. Agricultural Ass’n, 1 Cal. App. 5th 504 (2016) Jose Luis Morales and 177 other similarly situated plaintiffs sued their employer under Cal. Labor Code § 510 and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) for failure to pay them overtime. Plaintiffs’ employer is a California agency that owns and manages the… Continue Reading

$6.3 Million Attorney’s Fees Award (1/3 Of Total Recovery) Was Reasonable In Class Action Settlement

Posted in Attorney's Fees, California Labor & Employment Law, Class Actions, Supreme Court

Laffitte v. Robert Half Int’l Inc., 1 Cal. 5th 480 (2016) An objecting class member in a wage and hour lawsuit challenged the trial court’s award of an attorney’s fee calculated as a percentage (one-third) of the overall settlement amount of $19 million. The objector asserted that pursuant to Serrano v. Priest, 20 Cal. 3d… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Employer’s Class Action Waiver

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, California Labor & Employment Law, Class Actions, Employment Contracts, Exempt Employees, FLSA, NLRA

Morris v. Ernst & Young, LLP, 2016 WL 4433080 (9th Cir. 2016) As a condition of employment, Stephen Morris and Kelly McDaniel were required to sign agreements not to join with other employees in bringing legal claims via arbitration against their employer. Morris and McDaniel filed a class and collective action against the company, alleging… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Affirms $2.9 Million Class Action Judgment Based On Expert’s Study Of Time Spent On Donning And Doffing Activities

Posted in Class Actions, FLSA, Overtime, Supreme Court, Wage and Hour

Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, 577 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 1036 (2016) Following a jury trial, the employees in this class/collective action recovered $2.9 million in compensatory damages for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The employees alleged that they did not receive statutorily mandated overtime pay for the time they spent… Continue Reading

EEOC Sufficiently Conciliated Class Claims Before Bringing Suit, And Employee Stated Hostile Environment Claim

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, Sexual Harassment

Arizona ex rel. Horne v. The Geo Group, 2016 WL 945634 (9th Cir. 2016) Alice Hancock was employed by Geo as a correctional officer at the Arizona State Prison. Geo contracts with the Arizona Department of Corrections to maintain and operate two facilities in the state. Hancock filed a charge of discrimination and harassment based… Continue Reading

Employer Was Entitled To Obtain Reimbursement Of Short-Term Employee’s Training Costs

Posted in Attorney's Fees, Class Actions, Expense Reimbursement

USS-POSCO Indus. v. Case, 197 Cal. Rptr. 3d 791 (Cal. Ct. App. 2016) Floyd Case voluntarily enrolled in a three-year, employer-sponsored educational program. Case agreed in writing that if he quit his job within 30 months of completing the program, he would reimburse his employer (UPI) a prorated portion of the program costs. Two months… Continue Reading

Unaccepted Settlement Offer Does Not Moot Putative Class Action

Posted in Class Actions

Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, 577 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 663 (2016) In this putative class action involving an alleged violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (prohibiting using an automatic dialing system to send a text message to a cellular telephone, absent the recipient’s express consent), Campbell-Ewald proposed to settle Jose Gomez’s individual claim… Continue Reading

Residential Care Facility Could Require Its Employees To Take On-Duty Meals

Posted in Class Actions, Meal Periods and Rest Breaks

Palacio v. Jan & Gail’s Care Homes, Inc., 242 Cal. App. 4th 1133 (2015) Yvonne Palacio filed this putative class action against Jan & Gail’s Care Homes (“Care Homes”) based on a policy that required newly hired employees to sign an agreement waiving their right to uninterrupted meal periods. Palacio sought class certification based upon… Continue Reading

Agricultural Workers’ Putative Class Action Was Properly Denied Certification

Posted in Class Actions, Meal Periods and Rest Breaks, Wage and Hour

Cruz v. Sun World Int’l, LLC, 2015 WL 9463140 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Plaintiffs in this putative class action alleged off-the-clock work had been performed by employees, that meal and rest breaks were shortened, that the additional hour of pay for each meal or rest period they were denied was not paid, and that their… Continue Reading

Court Affirms Dismissal Of PAGA Claims For Inadequate Notice But Orders Certification Of Class Action

Posted in Class Actions, PAGA

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… Continue Reading

Trial Court Improperly Failed To Certify Class Action For Unpaid Overtime

Posted in Class Actions, Uncategorized, Wage and Hour

Alberts v. Aurora Behavioral Health Care, 2015 WL 6121981 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) Valerie Alberts and others, formerly employed as members of the nursing staff at two acute care psychiatric hospitals owned and operated by Aurora, claimed that Aurora’s uniform practices and de facto policies routinely denied nursing staff employees their meal and rest periods… Continue Reading

California Enacts a Raft of New Employment Legislation

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, California Labor & Employment Law, Class Actions, Discrimination, Meal Periods and Rest Breaks, PAGA, Retaliation, Vacation or PTO, Wage and Hour, Wage Statements

The latest legislative session has just ended, and, true to form, the California Legislature has added more than a dozen new laws affecting employers doing business in the nation’s largest state.  These statutes are in addition to the other six new laws that we reported on in September: Signed legislation: Sick Leave: Accrual And Limitations Language… Continue Reading

Missed Meal Break Class Action Was Properly Certified

Posted in Class Actions, Meal Periods and Rest Breaks, Unfair Competition

Safeway, Inc. v. Superior Court, 238 Cal. App. 4th 1138 (2015) Plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit alleged claims against Safeway and Vons for failure to provide meal and rest breaks, failure to provide itemized pay statements, unfair business practices under the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) and penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General… Continue Reading

Two Class Actions Should Have Been Treated As One For Purposes of CAFA Removal

Posted in Class Actions

Bridewell-Sledge v. Blue Cross of Cal., 2015 WL 4939641 (9th Cir. 2015) Two similar class actions filed 13 minutes apart against the same defendants in the same California state court were consolidated by the state court “for all purposes.” Despite the fact that the two actions had been consolidated into a single action, defendants filed… Continue Reading

Employer Met Its Burden Of Proving At Least $5 Million Amount In Controversy For CAFA Removal

Posted in Class Actions, Federal Jurisdiction

LaCross v. Knight Transp. Inc., 775 F.3d 1200 (9th Cir. 2015) In this putative class action, plaintiffs alleged that Knight Transportation had misclassified them as independent contractors when in fact they were employees who were not reimbursed their lease-related and fuel costs as required by Labor Code § 2802. Knight removed the case from state… Continue Reading

Health Care Employees Should Not Have Been Permitted To Waive Their Second Meal Periods

Posted in Class Actions, Meal Periods and Rest Breaks, Wage and Hour

Gerard v. Orange Coast Mem. Med. Ctr., 2015 WL 535730 (Cal. Ct. App. 2015) In this putative class/Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) action, Jazmina Gerard (and others) challenged a hospital policy that allowed health care employees who worked shifts longer than 10 hours to voluntarily waive one of their two meal periods, even if their… Continue Reading

$90 Million Judgment In Favor Of Security Guards Who Remained On Call During Rest Breaks Is Reversed

Posted in Class Actions, Meal Periods and Rest Breaks, On-call, Wage and Hour

Augustus v. ABM Sec. Servs., Inc., 182 Cal. Rptr. 3d 676 (2015) In this class action lawsuit, plaintiffs alleged that ABM did not provide rest periods to its security guard employees because it failed to relieve them of all duties and required them to remain on call during their breaks. The trial court certified the… Continue Reading

Trial Court Properly Denied Class Certification For Unpaid Meal Break Claims

Posted in Class Actions, Meal Periods and Rest Breaks, Wage and Hour

In re Walgreen Co. Overtime Cases, 231 Cal. App. 4th 437 (2014) The putative class members in this case moved for class certification on the theory that although Walgreens’s stated policy on meal breaks was proper, its actual practice departed from its stated policy in an illegal and class wide way. The trial court denied… Continue Reading

Trial Court Should Have Certified Class Claims Of Managerial Employees

Posted in Class Actions, Exempt Employees, Wage and Hour

Martinez v. Joe’s Crab Shack Holdings, 231 Cal. App. 4th 362 (2014) Roberto Martinez and three other current or former employees of Joe’s Crab Shack (“JCS”) filed this putative class action asserting that they and similarly situated salaried managerial employees had been misclassified as exempt employees and were entitled to unpaid overtime and related wages…. Continue Reading

Multiple PAGA Representative Claims Crumble As Federal Courts Continue To Reject Iskanian and Enforce Arbitration Agreements Containing PAGA Waivers

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Class Actions, PAGA, Wage and Hour

When the California Supreme Court decided Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, 59 Cal. 4th 348 (2014), this June, some legal commentators assumed that employees could not waive pre-litigation claims under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Those assumptions may have been premature. As we noted here, at least one federal court refused to… Continue Reading

Court Properly Enjoined Plaintiffs’ Lawyers From Distributing $5 Million In Fees To Themselves

Posted in Attorney's Fees, Class Actions, Settlement

Lofton v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, 2014 WL 5358364 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) The Initiative Law Group (“ILG”) represented more than 600 plaintiffs in a class action filed in Los Angeles against Wells Fargo that was initially certified and then was later decertified. After decertification, ILG continued to represent the plaintiffs in their individual lawsuits… Continue Reading

Class Of Insurance Claims Adjusters Was Properly Certified

Posted in Class Actions, Wage and Hour

Jiminez v. Allstate Ins. Co., 765 F.3d 1161 (9th Cir. 2014) Jack Jiminez and approximately 800 other Allstate employees claimed that Allstate has a practice or unofficial policy of requiring its claims adjusters to work unpaid off-the-clock overtime in violation of California law. The district court certified the class with respect to the unpaid overtime,… Continue Reading

Federal Law Does Not Preempt Meal And Rest Break Requirements For Motor Carrier Employees

Posted in Class Actions, Meal Periods and Rest Breaks, Wage and Hour

Godfrey v. Oakland Port Servs. Corp., 2014 WL 5439289 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) Plantiffs Lavon Godfrey and Gary Gilbert initiated this class action against AB Trucking, alleging that AB did not pay its drivers for all hours worked, misclassified some drivers as non-employee trainees whom it did not pay at all, and failed to provide… Continue Reading