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 required meal and rest breaks. The trial court certified the class, and the case proceeded to a bench trial where plaintiffs prevailed and were awarded $964,557 plus attorney’s fees, costs and class representative enhancements. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 does not preempt California’s meal and rest break requirements. The Court further held that the class was properly certified and that the damages model was supported by substantial evidence. See also Solus Indus. Innovations, LLC v. Superior Court, 229 Cal. App. 4th 1291 (2014) (federal law preempts district attorney’s reliance on the Unfair Competition Law to address workplace safety violations).