Archives: Wage and Hour

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Massachusetts District Court Denies Certification for Claims of Unpaid Meal Breaks

It has become almost part of the plaintiff playbook to bring wage and hour claims despite lawful employer policies by claiming some sort of “class-wide” policy of deviating from those policies. Sadly, this tactic works at least as often as not in collective action litigation, where many courts are quick to conditionally certify even questionable … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Denies Sequenced Discovery in Representative PAGA Action

On July 13, 2017, the California Supreme Court rejected lower court holdings that limited an employee’s ability to secure statewide employee contact and employment information in a representative PAGA action, when the plaintiff only worked in one of the employer’s stores. In Williams v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Marshalls of CA, LLC), Case … Continue Reading

D.C. Court Dismisses Class Action Breach of Contract Case Based on Policy Manual

Supervisory employees’ claims derailed by merits It’s unusual to see an employment class action based on breach of contract by nonunionized employees. A recent case from the District of Columbia involving the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), reflects why, and highlights problems that occur when employees try to bring class-wide claims based on the … Continue Reading

Judges Refuse Certification of Off-the-clock Wage and Hour Cases

Employees at O’Hare Encounter Delays of a Different Kind The Northern District of Illinois has now either decertified or refused to certify two “off the clock” cases involving hourly workers at O’Hare Airport. Neither case involves O’Hare employees per se, but both involve large contractors and highlight the pitfalls for plaintiffs in large off-the-clock cases. … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Clarifies “Day of Rest” Requirements

California’s employment laws have consistently caused headaches for employers because even minor technical violations of these laws can fuel class action litigation and prove costly. However, a recent decision by the California Supreme Court, Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc. (SC S224611), provides some clarity by tackling three burning questions regarding California’s day of rest statutes – … Continue Reading

Subway Adopts Novel Approach to Stem Wage and Hour Claims

Subway is one of the largest franchisors in the world, with over 26,000 restaurants in the United States alone. It is also in one of the industries most prone to wage and hour claims, a fact reflected in both Department of Labor (DOL) investigations and litigation involving individual outlets. And, predictably, some claimants pursuing wage and … Continue Reading

Court Grants Summary Judgment for Employer in California Class Action Vacation Pay Case

Underlying claim premised on PowerPoint slide invalid Most California employers know that California treats vacation pay largely as a vested benefit that cannot ordinarily be “forfeited.” In common parlance, the state prohibits “use it or lose it” policies. To prevent employees from accruing, or claiming to have accrued, large amounts of vacation time, most California employers … Continue Reading

Statistics in Wage and Hour Class Actions: Has Anything Really Changed?

The probability is “not really” Statistics are kind of a holy grail of class action litigation. Everyone seems to know that they exist, but their understanding is shadowy and the quest to find valid statistical models often proves elusive. Last month’s Supreme Court decision in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, Case No. 14-1146 (Mar. 22, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Addressing Scope of Wage and Hour Class and Collective Actions

It’s hard enough to predict what the Supreme Court will do on a given case even after it has been briefed and oral argument has been heard. It’s even harder when all we have is the decision accepting certiorari, but this one is important enough to note. The Supreme Court has now accepted certiorari in a … Continue Reading

Nevada Supreme Court Finds Class of Strippers Were Employees

Given the extensive use of euphemisms in the exotic dancing trade, we’ll apologize in advance for any unintended puns. We’ve written on the issue of the classification of exotic dancers or strippers in the past [April 8, 2011, October 19, 2011, November 21, 2012], but the question continues to ripple through the courts.  While the … Continue Reading

California District Court Rejects Yet Another Class Settlement

“Another one bites the dust…” In yet another decision rejecting a settlement of an employment class action, the Northern District of California refused to approve a settlement of a wage and hour suit due to numerous problems with the resolution reached between the parties. In Myles v. AlliedBarton Security Services, LLC, Case No. 12-cv-05661-JD (N.D. … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court (!) Issues Strong Pro-Defense Wage and Hour Class Action Decision

“Depending on the nature of the claimed exemption and the facts of a particular case, a misclassification claim has the potential to raise numerous individual questions that may be difficult, or even impossible, to litigate on a classwide basis.” “[T]rial courts deciding whether to certify a class must consider not just whether common questions exist, … Continue Reading

West Virginia District Court Refuses To Certify Fail Safe Class

It’s not uncommon to see putative classes pleaded in terms of the violation of a specific statute, such as “all managers misclassified as exempt by defendant” or “all persons harmed by defendant’s discriminatory policies.”  In all likelihood, classes may be pleaded this way due to the attorney’s bravado that, of course, all of the defendant’s … Continue Reading
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