Gerard v. Orange Coast Mem. Med. Ctr., 9 Cal. App. 5th 1204 (2017)

In this putative class/Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) action, Jazmina Gerard (and others) challenged a hospital policy that allowed health care employees who worked shifts longer than 10 hours to voluntarily waive one of their two meal periods, even if their shifts lasted longer than 12 hours. Plaintiffs alleged that they all signed second meal period waivers and occasionally worked longer than 12 hours without being provided a second meal period. The trial court granted summary judgment against Gerard and denied class certification to the other plaintiffs. In an earlier opinion, the Court of Appeal reversed, holding that Wage Order No. 5, Section 11(D), is partially invalid to the extent it permits employees in the health care industry to waive their second meal periods for shifts longer than 12 hours. After the California Supreme Court granted the hospital’s petition for review, the Supreme Court transferred the case back to the Court of Appeal and ordered the lower court to vacate its earlier decision and to reconsider the case in light of the enactment in 2015 of SB 327 (amending Cal. Labor Code § 516). In this opinion, the Court of Appeal concluded that the Wage Order is valid after all.