California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: class action

Arbitration Clauses Are Enforceable Despite Waiver Of Classwide Arbitration Rights

Flores v. West Covina Auto Group, 2013 WL 139200 (Cal. App. Jan. 11, 2013) Israel Flores and Andrea Naasz sued West Covina Toyota (WCT) and Toyota Motor Sales for selling them a “lemon,” alleging both individual and class action claims, including claims for violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA).  WCT filed a motion … Continue Reading

Employer Permitted To Proceed With Defense Of Class Action Based On “Rounding” Policy

See’s Candy Shops, Inc. v. Superior Court, 2012 WL 5305729 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Pamela Silva sued her former employer, See’s Candy, for various wage-and-hour violations. After certifying a class of current and former California employees, the trial court granted Silva’s motion for summary adjudication on four of See’s Candy’s affirmative defenses. In a writ … Continue Reading

“Rounding” Is Lawful In California – As Long As It’s Even-Handed

Pamela Silva brought a wage-and-hour class action against her former employer, See’s Candy Shops, Inc., alleging, in part, that See’s failed to pay her wages for all hours worked because the See’s timekeeping system rounded employee time entries to the nearest tenth of an hour/nearest six minutes.  In response to the complaint, See’s alleged that … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Certifies Question To California Supreme Court Regarding Commission Exemption

Peabody v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., 2012 WL 3538753 (9th Cir. 2012) Susan J. Peabody was employed as a commissioned salesperson by Time Warner Cable (“TWC”) for approximately 10 months. Peabody’s commissions were based on the revenue generated by advertising that was aired every broadcast month, which lasted four or five weeks. Peabody also received … 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 Law Should Have Been Applied To Determine If Drivers Were Employees Or Independent Contractors

Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corp., 667 F.3d 1318 (9th Cir. 2012) Fernando Ruiz and similarly situated drivers filed a class action against Affinity alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and California law for failure to pay overtime, failure to pay wages, improper charges for workers’ compensation insurance and unfair business practices. To work … Continue Reading

Employer Was Deprived Of Due Process By Trial Court’s Erroneous Use Of Representative Sampling

Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 203 Cal. App. 4th 212 (2012) U.S. Bank (“USB”) appealed a $15 million judgment that was entered against it following a bifurcated bench trial. The plaintiffs are 260 current and former business banking officers who claimed they were misclassified by USB as outside sales personnel exempt from overtime pay. … 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

January 2012 California Employment Law Notes

We invite you to review our newly-posted January 2012 California Employment Law Notes – a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include: Insurance Claims Adjusters May Be Exempt Administrative Employees Attorney Was Properly Denied Precertification Discovery To Find A New Class Representative Employee-Attorney’s $440,000 Verdict Against … Continue Reading

California Overtime Requirements Apply To Work Performed By Non-Resident Employees

Sullivan v. Oracle Corp., 662 F.3d 1265 (2011) Three Oracle instructors (all non-residents of California) filed this class action to recover allegedly unpaid overtime under California law for work they performed while in California. Two of the instructors were residents of Colorado and one was a resident of Arizona; all of them worked in their … Continue Reading

Nonexclusive Insurance Agent Was An Independent Contractor

Arnold v. Mutual of Omaha Ins. Co., 202 Cal. App. 4th 580 (2011) Kimbly Arnold filed a complaint against Mutual of Omaha on her behalf and on behalf of a putative class of similarly situated “licensed agents” and “sales representatives” of the company, alleging violations of the California Labor Code, including provisions governing expense reimbursement … Continue Reading

Claims For Reporting Time Pay And Split Shifts Were Properly Dismissed

Aleman v. AirTouch Cellular, 202 Cal. App. 4th 117 (2011) Daniel Krofta and Mary Katz filed this putative class action against their employer, alleging reporting time pay violations and seeking additional compensation for working split shifts. Krofta sought reporting time pay for days he attended meetings at work even though he was furnished work (and … 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

Insurance Claims Adjusters May Be Exempt Administrative Employees

Harris v. Superior Court, 53 Cal.4th 170 (2011) Plaintiffs in this case are claims adjusters employed by two insurance companies. They filed four putative class actions, claiming they had been erroneously classified as exempt administrative employees and seeking damages based upon unpaid overtime. The court of appeal held as a matter of law that plaintiffs … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Applies Supreme Court’s “Rigorous Analysis” Test And Vacates Certification Of Class Action

Ellis v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 657 F.3d 970 (9th Cir. 2011) In this appeal, Costco challenged the district court’s order granting class certification in an action in which Costco’s promotional practices were alleged to have discriminated against female employees. The district court’s order granting class certification preceded the United States Supreme Court’s opinion in Wal-Mart … Continue Reading

State Limitations On Arbitration Agreements Are Preempted By Federal Law

AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011) In this landmark new opinion, the United States Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) prohibits states from conditioning the enforceability of an arbitration agreement on the availability of class action arbitration procedures. Although this case arose in the consumer context (it involved AT&T’s … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate FLSA By Changing Pay Rates For Nurses Working Alternative Workweeks

Parth v. Pomona Valley Hosp., 2010 WL 5064380 (9th Cir. 2010) The Fair Labor Standards Act required Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (“PVHMC”) to pay its employees 1-1/2 times the employees’ regular rate for any employment in excess of eight hours in any workday and in excess of 80 hours in a 14-day period. However, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Refuses to Allow Parallel Federal and State Wage-and-Hour Class Actions to Proceed

On November 3, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to hear an appeal brought by a Harrah’s Las Vegas casino dealer challenging the District Court’s ruling that her proposed state wage-and-hour class action was preempted by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  In so doing, the Ninth Circuit chose not to revisit the … 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

June 23, 2010 MCLE Telephonic Employment Law Seminar

On Wednesday, June 23, 2010, I will be speaking at the 2010 Employment Law Update telephonic conference sponsored by CEB.  It is always a lively and informative program, and I encourage you to enroll.  The program runs from 1:00 p.m. to 2 p.m. (Pacific).  One hour of MCLE credit is available. Details after the break.… Continue Reading

Class Member Who Failed To Timely Submit Claim Form Could Not Recover Unpaid Wages

Martorana v. Marlin & Saltzman, 2009 WL 1875681 (Cal. Ct. App. 2009) Ron Martorana was a class member in a wage and hour class action that had been filed against his former employer, Allstate Insurance Company. The Los Angeles Superior Court approved a settlement of the class action, but Martorana did not recover any portion … Continue Reading

Class Action Pleading Requirements Need Not Be Satisfied To Assert Private Attorneys General Act Claim

Arias v. Superior Court, 2009 WL 1838973 (Cal. S. Ct. 2009) Jose Arias sued his former employer, Angelo Dairy, for a number of alleged violations of the California Labor Code, including five claims that he asserted on behalf of himself as well as other current and former employees under the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”). The … Continue Reading
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