Ghazaryan v. Diva Limousine, Ltd., 169 Cal. App. 4th 1524 (2009)

Sarkis Ghazaryan filed this class action lawsuit alleging that Diva Limousine had failed to pay wages, overtime compensation, and to provide meal periods and rest breaks in violation of California law. Diva followed a policy of paying its drivers an hourly rate of pay for assigned trips but it failed to pay them for on-call time between assignments (referred to by the drivers as “gap time”). During gap time, the drivers were not permitted to use the vehicles for personal use and were required to stay near the vehicle (to be available for assignments) and to remain in uniform. Drivers also were required to use gap time for their rest and lunch breaks, which could be interrupted if they were dispatched on an assignment. The trial court denied class certification after determining there were too many individualized issues. The Court of Appeal reversed the order, holding that Ghazaryan’s proposed subclass consisting of all Diva drivers would satisfy the ascertainability, numerosity, community of interest and superiority requirements of a class action. Cf. Deleon v. Verizon Wireless, 170 Cal. App. 4th 519 (2008) (trial court properly dismissed Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act claims, which had been settled in a prior class action, but the court should not have denied plaintiff leave to amend his complaint to state claims that accrued after the date of the earlier action).