California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: class certification

Class Certification Was Properly Denied In Outside Sales Exemption Case

Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 19 Cal. App. 5th 630 (2018) Samuel Duran and Matt Fitzsimmons filed this wage-and-hour class action challenging the Bank’s classification of its business banking officers as exempt employees under the outside salesperson exemption. The trial court denied class certification after concluding plaintiffs had failed to carry their burden of … Continue Reading

Court Affirms Dismissal Of PAGA Claims For Inadequate Notice But Orders Certification Of Class Action

Alcantar v. Hobart Serv., 800 F.3d 1047 (9th Cir. 2015) Joséluis Alcantar filed this action against his employer to represent a putative class of service technicians for the time spent commuting in the employer’s service vehicles from their homes to their jobsites and then back again. Alcantar also alleged failure to provide the technicians with … Continue Reading

Missed Meal Break Class Action Was Properly Certified

Safeway, Inc. v. Superior Court, 238 Cal. App. 4th 1138 (2015) Plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit alleged claims against Safeway and Vons for failure to provide meal and rest breaks, failure to provide itemized pay statements, unfair business practices under the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) and penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General … Continue Reading

$90 Million Judgment In Favor Of Security Guards Who Remained On Call During Rest Breaks Is Reversed

Augustus v. ABM Sec. Servs., Inc., 182 Cal. Rptr. 3d 676 (2015) In this class action lawsuit, plaintiffs alleged that ABM did not provide rest periods to its security guard employees because it failed to relieve them of all duties and required them to remain on call during their breaks. The trial court certified the … Continue Reading

Trial Court Properly Denied Class Certification For Unpaid Meal Break Claims

In re Walgreen Co. Overtime Cases, 231 Cal. App. 4th 437 (2014) The putative class members in this case moved for class certification on the theory that although Walgreens’s stated policy on meal breaks was proper, its actual practice departed from its stated policy in an illegal and class wide way. The trial court denied … Continue Reading

Trial Court Should Have Certified Class Claims Of Managerial Employees

Martinez v. Joe’s Crab Shack Holdings, 231 Cal. App. 4th 362 (2014) Roberto Martinez and three other current or former employees of Joe’s Crab Shack (“JCS”) filed this putative class action asserting that they and similarly situated salaried managerial employees had been misclassified as exempt employees and were entitled to unpaid overtime and related wages. … Continue Reading

Class Of Insurance Claims Adjusters Was Properly Certified

Jiminez v. Allstate Ins. Co., 765 F.3d 1161 (9th Cir. 2014) Jack Jiminez and approximately 800 other Allstate employees claimed that Allstate has a practice or unofficial policy of requiring its claims adjusters to work unpaid off-the-clock overtime in violation of California law. The district court certified the class with respect to the unpaid overtime, … Continue Reading

Trial Court Should Not Have Denied Class Certification to Employees Seeking Reimbursement for Cell Phone Charges

Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Serv., Inc., 2014 WL 3965240 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) Colin Cochran filed this putative class action on behalf of himself and 1,500 similarly situated customer service managers who were not reimbursed for expenses pertaining to the work-related use of their personal cell phones.  The trial court denied class certification to the … Continue Reading

Trial Court Must Determine Whether Action Challenging Independent Contractor Status Could Proceed As A Class Action

Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc., 2014 WL 2924954 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) Plaintiffs Maria Ayala, Rosa Duran and Osman Nuñez sought to certify a class of newspaper home delivery carriers in a lawsuit brought against Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc. (“AVN”), alleging that AVN had improperly classified the carriers as independent contractors rather than employees … 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 Supreme Court Leaves Unanswered Questions in Independent Contractor Case

On Monday, June 30, 2014, the California Supreme Court handed down its decision in Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, a lawsuit brought on behalf of a group of newspaper delivery carriers who alleged that they had been misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees.  The trial court had initially denied certification, finding that common issues … 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

Rebuking “Trial by Formula,” Federal Court Decertifies Rule 23(b)(3) Class Action

In Stiller v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 3:09-cv-2473-GPC-BGS, Plaintiffs Eric Stiller and Joseph Moro alleged that Costco’s loss-prevention closing procedures effectively “forced” employees to work off-the clock without getting paid because they were required to remain on-site after they had clocked out of their shifts to go through security screenings. In December 2010, the district court … Continue Reading

California Employers Down, But Not Out, Concerning Class Certification Issues

Shortly after the California Supreme Court issued its 2012 decision in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, employers saw an immediate uptick in appellate court decisions supporting the denial of class certification to plaintiffs in wage and hour lawsuits. Today, the opposite seems to be true: appellate courts are reversing decisions denying class certification and … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Reaffirms Enforceability of Arbitration Agreements Containing Collective Action Waivers In Two FLSA Cases

Two recent decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit have reaffirmed the enforceability of employment-related arbitration agreements containing class action waivers. In Sutherland v. Ernst & Young and Raniere v. Citigroup, Inc. the Second Circuit held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) requires courts to enforce a valid agreement to arbitrate … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Emphasizes Importance of Common Issues in Class Actions

Over the past two weeks, the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly underscored the importance of having common questions that are susceptible to common answers in cases where plaintiffs are seeking class certification. Most recently, the Court clarified that this requirement, which has now been considered in both antitrust and employment cases, applies with respect … Continue Reading

Reporters’ Class Action For Unpaid Overtime Should Not Have Been Certified

Wang v. Chinese Daily News, 2013 WL 781715 (9th Cir. 2013) 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 … Continue Reading

Certification Was Properly Denied In Class Action Seeking Reimbursement From Employer

Morgan v. Wet Seal, Inc., 210 Cal. App. 4th 1341 (2012) Crystal Morgan and two other former employees sued Wet Seal because the company allegedly required employees to purchase Wet Seal clothing and merchandise as a condition of employment and also failed to reimburse employees for their mileage between Wet Seal business locations. The trial … 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

Trial Court Erred In Part In Failing To Certify Class Of Newspaper Home Delivery Carriers

Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc., 2012 WL 4098995 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012) Plaintiffs Maria Ayala, Rosa Duran and Osman Nuñez sought to certify a class of newspaper home delivery carriers in a lawsuit brought against Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc. (“AVN”), alleging that AVN had improperly classified the carriers as independent contractors rather than employees … 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

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
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