California Employment Law Update

Category Archives: Meal Periods and Rest Breaks

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Employees Of Electrical/Gas Company Are Not Entitled To Off-Duty Meal Periods

Araquistain v. Pacific Gas & Elec. Co., 2014 WL 4227872 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) Plaintiffs Ignacio Araquistain, David Page and Douglas Girouard are non-exempt, unionized employees of PG&E, which is an “electrical corporation” and a “gas corporation” within the meaning of Labor Code § 512(f)(4).  The operative collective bargaining agreement states that “shift employees and … Continue Reading

Class Action Plaintiffs Must Develop A Trial Plan That May Include Statistical Sampling

Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 59 Cal. 4th 1 (2014) Plaintiffs in this case are loan officers for U.S. Bank (“USB”) who claim they were misclassified as exempt employees under the outside salesperson exemption. After certifying a class of 260 plaintiffs, the trial court devised a plan to determine the extent of USB’s liability … Continue Reading

California Courts May No Longer Be Able to Certify a Ham Sandwich

Commentators have quipped that class certification is so easy in California that with little effort a group of plaintiffs could certify even a ham sandwich.  In fact, as we have discussed here, we have seen a proliferation of recent appellate decisions hinging class certification on the mere existence of an employer’s uniform policy – no … Continue Reading

California Appellate Court Affirms Denial Of Class Certification

As we recently reported here, there have been a number of appellate decisions ordering class certification based on the existence of an employer’s companywide policy – all while overlooking numerous individualized questions that would undoubtedly create manageability problems during trial.  On December 30, 2013, the California Court of Appeal in Johnson v. California Pizza Kitchen, … Continue Reading

Brinker Round 2: Plaintiffs Secure Class Certification in Trial Court

After the renowned remand from the California Supreme Court, the Hohnbaum plaintiffs in Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Court, 53 Cal. 4th 1004 (2012) sought to certify meal period claims alleging that all California employees were denied meal periods because Brinker’s corporate meal period policies were unlawful. Plaintiffs argued that Brinker’s corporate policies were unlawful … Continue Reading

Trial Court Erred In Failing To Certify Class Action For Unpaid Overtime And Meal-And-Rest Breaks

Bradley v. Networkers Int’l, LLC, 2012 WL 6182473 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) The three named plaintiffs in this case were among approximately 140 skilled workers retained by Networkers to provide repair and installation services at cell sites. Each worker was required to sign a standard contract, which stated that he or she was an independent … Continue Reading

Brinker Dooms Class Certification of Meal and Rest Period Claims

Plaintiff Rogelio Hernandez brought a putative class action lawsuit for Chipotle’s alleged failure to provide meal and rest breaks to its non-managerial employees pursuant to California Labor Code Section 226.7. The California Court of Appeal held that the Supreme Court’s decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court (2012) 53 Cal. 4th 1004, precluded class certification … Continue Reading

Appellate Courts Begin To Apply Brinker Decision

Hernandez v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., 2012 WL 3579567 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Rogelio Hernandez appealed from the order denying his motion for class certification and granting Chipotle’s motion to deny class certification as to his claims that Chipotle denied non-exempt employees their meal and rest breaks. Chipotle moved to deny class certification on the … Continue Reading

Employers Need Only Provide (Not Ensure) Meal And Rest Breaks

Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Court, 53 Cal. 4th 1004 (2012) In this long-awaited opinion, the California Supreme Court determined several important issues of law regarding meal and rest breaks. First and foremost, the Supreme Court determined that “an employer’s obligation is to relieve its employee of all duty, with the employee thereafter at liberty … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Issues Long Awaited Opinion on Meal and Rest Breaks

This morning, the California Supreme Court issued its long awaited opinion in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court. Taking up two crucial issues that have spawned dozens of class action suits across the state, the Court answered the questions: (1) must an employer merely provide a meal break to employees or must it ensure that … Continue Reading

PAGA Judgment Is Mostly Affirmed In Employee’s Favor

Thurman v. Bayshore Transit Mgmt., Inc., 203 Cal. App. 4th 1112 (2012) Leander Thurman sued Bayshore for alleged violations of the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”) and the Unfair Competition Law and, following a bench trial, a judgment was entered imposing civil penalties, including unpaid wages, against Bayshore in the total amount of … Continue Reading

Attorney Was Properly Denied Precertification Discovery To Find A New Class Representative

Pirjada v. Superior Court, 201 Cal. App. 4th 1074 (2011) Putative class representative Obaidul H. Pirjada filed a complaint on behalf of himself and a putative class of all security guards who had been employed in California by Pacific National Security, Inc. during the preceding four years. The complaint alleged a failure to provide meal-and-rest … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Sets Oral Arguments in Brinker

The California Supreme Court announced today that it will hear oral arguments in the landmark wage-and-hour case Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court on November 8 in San Francisco. In Brinker, the Court will decide whether employers must merely provide meal and rest breaks to their employees or actually ensure that breaks are taken, as well … Continue Reading

Prevailing Employer Should Have Been Permitted To Recover Its Costs from Employee

Plancich v. UPS, Inc., 198 Cal. App. 4th 308 (2011) Larry Plancich sued UPS for failure to pay overtime, meal and rest breaks; failure to keep, maintain and furnish accurate wage statements, and unfair competition, among other claims. The trial court ruled in favor of UPS on the unfair competition claim and a jury found … Continue Reading

Two One-Hour Premium Payments May Be Owed Per Day For Missed Meal And Rest Periods

United Parcel Serv., Inc. v. Superior Court, 192 Cal. App. 4th 1043 (2011) Pursuant to Labor Code § 226.7(b), “[i]f an employer fails to provide an employee a meal period or rest period… the employer shall pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation for each work day … Continue Reading

Reporters Were Entitled To Judgment In Wage And Hour Class Action

Wang v. Chinese Daily News, 623 F.3d 743 (2010) Plaintiffs (reporters for the Chinese Daily News) alleged they were non-exempt employees entitled to overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California state law. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the reporters, finding journalists are not subject to the creative … Continue Reading

Employer Need Only Provide And Not Ensure Meal And Rest Breaks

Hernandez v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., 189 Cal.App.4th 751 (2010) Rogelio Hernandez worked as a non-exempt employee at Chipotle Mexican Grill. In this putative class action, Hernandez alleged that Chipotle violated California wage and hour law by failing to ensure that its employees took their meal breaks. The trial court granted Chipotle’s motion to deny … Continue Reading

Class Action Should Have Been Certified As To Claims For Overtime, But Not Meal And Rest Periods

Faulkinbury v. Boyd & Assocs., Inc., 185 Cal. App. 4th 1363 (2010) Plaintiffs sought to represent and certify a class of 4,000 current and former employees of Boyd & Associates, which provides security guard services throughout Southern California. Plaintiffs alleged that Boyd denied the putative class members off-duty meal periods and rest breaks and that … Continue Reading

Class Representative’s Settlement And Dismissal Of His Own Claims Did Not Bar His Appeal On Behalf Of The Class

Narouz v. Charter Communications, LLC, 591 F.3d 1261 (9th Cir. 2010) Hani Narouz filed a complaint against Charter Communications in which he alleged causes of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy, as well as statutory violations of the California Labor Code for failure to pay wages, provide meal periods, maintain accurate itemized … Continue Reading

Detention Officers’ State Law Wage Claims Were Not Subject To Exclusive Federal Remedy

Naranjo v. Spectrum Sec. Services, 172 Cal. App. 4th 654 (2009) Gustavo Naranjo worked as a detention officer for Spectrum, which provides security services in holding facilities and detention centers throughout Los Angeles County under a contract with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”). The terms of Spectrum’s contract with ICE rely on wage and … Continue Reading

Limousine Drivers’ Class Action Should Have Been Certified

Ghazaryan v. Diva Limousine, Ltd., 169 Cal. App. 4th 1524 (2009) Sarkis Ghazaryan filed this class action lawsuit alleging that Diva Limousine had failed to pay wages, overtime compensation, and to provide meal periods and rest breaks in violation of California law. Diva followed a policy of paying its drivers an hourly rate of pay … Continue Reading
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