Maldonado v. Epsilon Plastics, Inc., 22 Cal. App. 5th 1308 (2018)

Olvin Maldonado filed this class action against his employer based upon an improperly adopted Alternative Workweek Schedule (“AWS”). The Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment of the trial court, finding that Epsilon failed to prove that there had been a preadoption vote of the employees adopting a 10/2 AWS (a 12-hour/day schedule in which the employees were paid for 10 hours at the regular rate of pay and 2 hours of overtime), but the Court agreed with Epsilon that the damages had been miscalculated. The Court upheld the award of waiting time penalties pursuant to Cal. Lab. Code § 203 based on the evidence of a lack of good faith on the part of the employer (“Epsilon made no inquiry whatsoever when it took over the plant, and simply assumed the 10/2 AWS had been properly adopted”). The Court reversed the trial court’s award of wage statement penalties because “when there is a wage and hour violation, the hours worked will differ from what was truly earned. But only the absence of the hours worked will give rise to an inference of injury; the absence of accurate wages earned will be remedied by the violated wage and hour law itself, as is the case here.” Finally, the Court vacated the order awarding $900,000 in attorney’s fees to permit the trial court to reconsider the amount of those fees following remand, but did determine the attorney’s fees motion was timely filed. See also Diaz v. Grill Concepts Servs., Inc., 23 Cal. App. 5th 859 (2018) (employer that suspected but did not confirm it was underpaying its employees the “living wage” amount mandated by city ordinance is liable for waiting time penalties under Cal. Lab. Code § 203, and trial court has no discretion to waive same).