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California Trial Court Decertifies Class of 13,000 Wackenhut Employees Under Dukes

What a difference a year or two can make in class action litigation. On March 10, 2010, the Superior Court for Los Angeles County, California certified a class of 13,000 employees in a series of consolidated cases asserting California rest and meal period claims against global security giant Wackenhut.  Wackenhut Wage and Hour Cases, Judicial … Continue Reading

California Court Denies Certification of Class of Costco Managers

California has been the focus of numerous class action wage and hour suits involving retail managers and assistant managers. One reason is that California law defines the executive exemption slightly, but significantly differently than, federal law.  Under both the FLSA and California law, courts will consider whether the employee’s “primary duty” is management.  While under … Continue Reading

California District Court Denies Certification of Proposed Class Over Employee Expenses

A class action over socks?! Employers operating in California are subject many state-law employment regulations and the resulting ever-present threat of class action litigation. Suits over employment practice seem to come in waves based on industry and type of employee (e.g. insurance claims adjusters, retail managers) or specific policies (such as the current spate over … Continue Reading

Court Denies Certification of California Rest and Meal Period Class Against Apple

Another court has denied certification of a rest and meal period case under California law, this one relying at least in part on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, Case No. 10-277, 564 U.S.___ (Jun. 20, 2011).  While many courts are simply staying California rest/meal period cases pending the outcome, if there ever … Continue Reading

When Does “Silence” Become “Implicit” Agreement? The Saga of Jock v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.

A recent Second Circuit decision has renewed the debate over when silence in an arbitration agreement can form the basis for class proceeding.  On July 1, a divided Second Circuit found that an arbitrator did not exceed her authority in ruling that an employment arbitration agreement that did not specifically address class proceedings “permitted the … Continue Reading

Court Decertifies FLSA Class of AT&T Mobility Retail Workers

As we have commented before in this blog, courts considering certification of collective actions under the FLSA often use the two-step procedure generally attributed to the court in Lusardi v. Xerox Corp., 118 F.R.D. 351 (D.N.J. 1987).  Under that procedure, the court first determines whether to “conditionally” or “provisionally” certify the class.  This first step typically relies … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Over to Proposed Overtime Class of Store Managers

Three years ago, in Morgan v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., 551 F.3d 1233 (11th Cir. 2008), the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a large jury verdict in a collective action against the Family Dollar Store retail chain challenging the exempt status of its store managers.  That victory, however, proved to be no guarantee of success in later … Continue Reading

Another Court Denies Certification of a Class of Retail Loss Prevention Associates

We just wrote about a recent case in which a court refused to certify a class of Wal-Mart loss prevention employees.  See Bramble v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Case No. 09-04932 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 11, 2011).  In the Bramble case, the court found that the duties of the employees were simply too diverse to justify even conditional … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses Putative FLSA Collective Action Due to Vague Pleading

Most of the cases discussed in this blog related to motion practice over certification issues or summary judgment rulings as they bear on class or collective actions.  A recent case from the Western District of Pennsylvania highlights the availability of Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of the class or collective claims based on run-of-the-mill form complaints. In … Continue Reading

Court Denies Conditional Certification of Assistant Manager Overtime Claims

A recent case for the Western District of New York demonstrates that little is certain in class action litigation.  In Omiatek v. Big Lots, Inc.pdf., Case No. 09-CV-0352S(Sr) (W.D. N.Y. Jan. 20, 2011), the court bucked two trends and (1) denied conditional certification (2) of a proposed class that consisted of assistant managers. A little … Continue Reading

Court Finds Convenience Store Managers Exempt

Managers and assistant managers at retail locations have been the focus of many wage and hour class or collective action lawsuits.  In these cases, the employer often asserts that the employee is exempt under the executive exemption and the employee contends that there was not enough discretion or exempt work to warrant application of the … Continue Reading
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