Bell v. Superior Court, 158 Cal. App. 4th 147 (2007)

Four employees of H.F. Cox Inc. d/b/a Cox Petroleum Transport filed this wage and hour class action challenging their employer’s failure to pay overtime; its requirement of off-the-clock work; its failure to provide meal and rest periods; its incorrect calculation of vacation pay; and its failure to pay pro rata vacation pay upon termination. The trial court granted plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class but only with respect to the last category of claims. In response, plaintiffs filed a petition for writ of mandate, which the Court of Appeal granted, holding that the trial court had erred in failing to certify a class for the overtime pay and the vacation pay calculation claims. The appellate court reasoned that the trial court’s determination that individual issues predominated over common ones was not supported by substantial evidence. Cf. Fireside Bank v. Superior Court, 40 Cal. 4th 1069 (2007) (trial court erred in ruling on the substantive merits of class action while concurrently certifying the class).