Wage and Hour Class Action Dismissed
August 19, 2015
Employment practice chairperson, Cathy Arias recently secured a voluntary court approved dismissal of all wage and hour class action claims on behalf of two Burnham Brown clients. The case was brought in Orange County Superior Court by two former fast food restaurant employees as a proposed class action alleging failure to pay minimum wages, failure to pay overtime wages, failure to provide meal periods, failure to permit rest breaks, failure to provide accurate itemized wage statements, failure to pay all wages due within the required time and upon separation of employment, failure to reimburse for business expenses, violation of Labor Code §§2698 et seq. and violation of Business and Professions Code §17200 et seq.
The parties engaged in pre-certification class discovery including a comprehensive review of time records, payroll documents and relevant policies and procedures. Ms. Arias took the depositions of Plaintiffs wherein they were subjected to a thorough examination of their knowledge and experiences with Defendants’ wage and hour policies and procedures. Based on all the evidence gathered and reviewed during this discovery process, Ms. Arias was able to convince Plaintiffs’ attorneys that this action should not proceed as class action litigation. Ms. Arias was able to establish that Defendants maintained compliant wage and hour policies and procedures throughout the class period and took steps to enforce those policies, such as requiring class members to review and attest as to the accuracy of the recorded hours and whether they received meal and/or rest breaks.
Based on the totality of the evidence and arguments, Plaintiffs agreed to settle Plaintiffs’ claims as individuals and dismiss the class claims without prejudice. The Orange County Superior Court after reviewing a declaration under oath from Plaintiffs’ attorney, agreed to the individual settlements and a dismissal of the class claims without prejudice. This resulted in significant savings for Burnham Brown’s clients.