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Showing 20 posts in Class Action.

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Employers Cannot Avoid Class Actions By Offering Complete Relief to Plaintiffs

In a 5-3 decision, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, holding that an unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment providing for an individual plaintiff complete relief does not moot a class action complaint, resolving a split among circuits. However, the Court limited its holding by declining to address “whether the result would be different if a defendant deposits the full amount of the plaintiff's individual claim in an account payable to the plaintiff, and the court then enters judgment for the plaintiff in that amount.” The Court’s dissenting opinions and concurring opinions suggest actual tender would moot the plaintiff’s claim. More ›

California Employers Beware: cell Phones Present Another area for Class Action Potential

In August 2014, the California State Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit, Division 2) decided in Cochran v. Schawan's Home Service that employers were responsible for reimbursing employees for the business use of personal cell phones. Most cell phone users have unlimited minute plans so the question before the court was whether reimbursement was warranted even if the employee did not incur an extra expense. The answer: reimbursement is always required. The California Supreme Court has denied a petition to review this case so this holding stands. Employers with employees in the state of California should be mindful of this decision and take steps to implement policies which comply with the law (e.g., provide company cell phones, provide for reimbursement of actual cell phone usage for business-related calls, or provide a flat amount of reimbursement per month per employee).

Hinshaw attorneys are available to assist employers implement and enforce such policies.

Must Employers Reimburse Employees for work Calls on Private Cell Phones?

In Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc., the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District dealt with the question of whether employers are required to reimburse employees for work-related calls made on their personal cell phones. More ›

Rite aid Cashiers can Proceed with Class Action

In Hall v. Rite Aid Corp., the Fourth Appellate District reversed the trial court’s decertification of a putative class of cashiers who challenged their employer’s policy of requiring them to stand while checking out customers.

The case is the latest in a series of California appellate opinions holding that a determination on class certification must focus on the plaintiff’s theory of liability — not the merits of the underlying allegations. More ›

California Restaurant Managers get Second Chance at Class Action

In Martinez v. Joe’s Crab Shack Holdings, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District reversed an order denying class certification to a group of managerial restaurant employees allegedly misclassified as exempt.

The case was brought by lower-level managers at Joe’s Crab Shack restaurants throughout California who complained that they performed many of the same tasks as hourly employees but did not qualify for overtime pay due to their managerial status. More ›

Courts may Certify Class Claims Where Damages Differ

In Benton v. Telecom Network Specialists, Inc., the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District affirmed that employee wage and hour and meal break cases may be suitable for class certification even where employees experience diverse damages.

The case supports the proposition that courts considering whether common issues predominate for class certification purposes must focus on plaintiffs’ theory of liability and not on whether class members will have to prove their damages individually. More ›

Certification of meal Break Employment Class Affirmed by Ninth Circuit

In Abdullah v. U.S. Security Associates Inc., the Ninth Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by certifying a meal break subclass, defined as all past and present employees who (a) worked more than six hours, (b) were not provided a meal break, and (3) were not compensated for the meal break.

Plaintiffs were former employees of USSA, a private security guard company. As a condition of employment, all employees were required to sign an agreement to take their meals on duty, rather then having a meal break. Plaintiffs sought to maintain a class action on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, alleging that the employer’s policy of requiring employees to work through their legally mandated meal periods made USSA liable for paying compensation for missed meal periods pursuant to California Labor Code 226.7 and the applicable wage order. The district court certified the subclass pursuant to FRCP rule 23(b)(3), which defendant challenged this ruling. More ›

It just got Easier to Remove Class Actions

In Rodriguez v. AT&T Mobility Services LLC the Ninth Circuit cited recent United States Supreme Court precedent to make it more difficult for class action plaintiffs to pursue their claims in state court. More ›

Ninth Circuit Allows Parties to Arbitrate Dispute Which had been Litigated for Years

In this recent arbitration decision out of the Ninth Circuit, the employee brought an action against her employer, alleging violations of California’s overtime laws and sought to assert claims on behalf of a class. After several years of litigation, the employee moved to certify a class. The District Court granted the motion in part, narrowing the class which the employee represented. In the same order, the court denied the employer's motion to compel arbitration, which was after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S.Ct. 1740 (2011). The District Court found that the employer had waived its right to arbitration by litigating the action for years without raising the binding arbitration clause contained in the employee's employment agreement. More ›

District Manager Correctly Classified as Independent Contractor … not an Employee

Barger & Wolen Secures Appellate Ruling

Insurance District Manager Correctly Classified as an Independent Contractor … Not an Employee

By Royal F. Oakes and Michael A.S. Newman

The California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District (Division Three) recently issued its ruling in Beaumont-Jacques v. Farmers Group, Inc., et al., affirming the trial court’s determination on summary judgment that Appellant Erin Beaumont-Jacques, a former District Manager for five affiliated insurers (“Farmers”) was an independent contractor, not an employee. The case has been certified for publication.

The authors of this article represented Farmers in this case both at the trial court and the appellate level. More ›

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