Aleman v. AirTouch Cellular, 202 Cal. App. 4th 117 (2011)

Daniel Krofta and Mary Katz filed this putative class action against their employer, alleging reporting time pay violations and seeking additional compensation for working split shifts. Krofta sought reporting time pay for days he attended meetings at work even though he was furnished work (and was paid) for at least half of the scheduled work time. (All of the meetings in question were listed on Krofta’s schedule, had certain start times, expected topics and durations and lasted at least half of the expected duration.) The trial court granted summary judgment to AirTouch because “when an employee is scheduled to work, the minimum two-hour pay requirement applies only if the employee is furnished work for less than half of the scheduled time.” The trial court also dismissed Krofta’s claim for split-shift compensation because every time Krofta worked a split shift (a work schedule interrupted by “non-paid, nonworking periods”), he was paid a total amount greater than the minimum wage for all hours worked plus one additional hour. The Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment of Krofta’s claims (on the grounds relied upon by the trial court) and of Katz’s claims on the ground that she had entered into an enforceable settlement agreement and release. The appellate court reversed the award of $286,000 in attorney’s fees to AirTouch because plaintiffs’ claims were subject to Labor Code § 1194 (not section 218.5) and thus only a prevailing plaintiff could recover his or her fees.