Wang v. Chinese Daily News, 623 F.3d 743 (2010)

Plaintiffs (reporters for the Chinese Daily News) alleged they were non-exempt employees entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California state law. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the reporters, finding journalists are not subject to the creative professional exemption to the FLSA or California law. The Ninth Circuit affirmed and further held the district court had properly (1) certified a class under FRCP 23(b)(2); (2) invalidated certain opt outs from that class (in light of evidence of coercive behavior by the employer); (3) deferred a second opt out procedure until after trial on the merits; (4) determined the employer had failed to provide class members with meal breaks (the Court said it did not need to decide whether the provide or ensure standard applied); (5) held the FLSA does not preempt an unfair competition claim brought under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200; (6) exercised supplemental jurisdiction over the 17200 claim; and (7) awarded attorneys’ fees to plaintiffs. See also Lazarin v. Superior Court, 2010 WL 3912499 (Cal. Ct. App. 2010) (unionized employees subject to Industrial Wage Commission Order No. 16 (governing on-site construction operations, etc.) could proceed with claim for employer’s failure to compensate for missed second meal periods).