Hildebrandt v. Staples the Office Superstore, LLC, 58 Cal. App. 5th 128 (2020)

Von Hildebrandt filed a putative class action against Staples asserting that he and other general managers of Staples had been misclassified as exempt from overtime and that, accordingly, they were owed compensation for unpaid overtime, missed rest and meal periods, inaccurate wage statements and waiting time penalties. Hildebrandt’s lawsuit was filed after two other Staples general managers had filed similar class actions. In response to Hildebrandt’s class action, Staples moved for summary judgment based upon the applicable statutes of limitations. In response, Hildebrandt argued that application of the class action tolling doctrine was necessary to protect the “efficiency and economy of the class action device; otherwise putative class members would be induced to file individual actions to avoid the statute of limitations bar, even while class certification proceedings were pending” in other cases. The trial court granted Staples’ motion for summary judgment, but the Court of Appeal reversed, holding that Hildebrandt was entitled to claim the benefit of the class action tolling rule, due to the pendency of the class certification proceedings in the other two cases. Another recent wage/hour case of note: Calleros v. Rural Metro of San Diego, 2020 WL 7364161 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) (passage of voter initiative requiring ambulance employees to remain reachable by a communications device during their work shifts (including rest breaks) mooted plaintiffs’ class action challenging employer’s on-call rest-break policy).