David v. Queen of the Valley Med. Ctr., 2020 WL 3529683 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020)

Registered nurse Joana David sued her former employer, Queen of the Valley Medical Center, for allegedly failing to pay her for meal breaks and rest periods and for failure to pay minimum wage.  David also alleged she was not paid for all wages that were owed because of the hospital’s time-rounding policy.  The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the hospital, and the Court of Appeal affirmed.  Summary judgment was properly granted as to the meal and rest break claims because there was no evidence that the hospital had actual or constructive knowledge that David’s meal and rest breaks were being interrupted with work-related discussions:  A supervisor’s “walking into the break room and looking at the clock, without more,” did not constitute “a direction to prematurely terminate a break.”  Further, an “instruction to avoid overtime, without more, cannot reasonably be understood as an affirmative direction to perform work off-the-clock” (quoting the trial court’s order).  Finally, the trial court properly held that the hospital’s rounding policy was neutral insofar as it was established by the hospital’s expert (and unrebutted by plaintiff’s expert) that 47 percent of plaintiff’s rounded time entries favored plaintiff or had no impact, and 53 percent favored the hospital.  See also Betancourt v. OS Restaurant Servs., LLC, 49 Cal. App. 5th 240 (2020) (prevailing plaintiff who successfully sued for employer’s failure to provide meal and rest breaks (but no wage payment violations) is not entitled to recover attorney’s fees).