The California Court of Appeal this week provided a shield to employers against attacks left open by the state Supreme Court’s momentous decision earlier this month concerning meal and rest periods. The appellate court in Kinecta Alternative Financial Solutions Inc. v. Superior Court (Malone), No. B235491, decided that a trial court in Los Angeles should have dismissed class-action allegations in a meal-and-rest-period lawsuit.
As many readers of this Blog know, we’ve been awaiting the California Supreme Court to issue its decision in the Brinker case. This morning it did so. As our attorneys continue to analyze the decision involving issues of employee rest periods and meal breaks, we will be publishing several blog updates in the coming days discussing the impact of the decision on California employers.
Countless employers have now been faced with class action litigation, making claims for various deviations from the California Labor Code. Many times employers will face these head on with evidence that the claims made by one former employee are not sufficiently common to a substantial number of other past and current employees to merit class action treatment. Other times, employers argue the plaintiff’s allegations don’t demonstrate a uniform set of facts such that the Court would be able to decide a single legal question that would be applicable to an entire class. However, before dealing with these issues head on, California employers should always look beyond our borders to see if Federal law preempts the California Labor Code.
Continue Reading Make Sure to Review Federal Exemptions When Fighting Class Actions in California: Court Finds Truck Route Drivers’ Break Claims Preempted By FAAAA
UPDATED 12/21/2011: Based on the date on which the case was submitted at oral argument, the California Supreme Court was required to render a decision in this matter on or before February 6, 2012. On December 2, 2011, however, the Supreme Court agreed to accept additional briefing regarding whether its decision will be applied retroactively. The additional briefing likely will cause the Court’s decision to be delayed. Based on the current briefing schedule it appears that we could be waiting for a decision until April 2012.
On November 8, 2011, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court of San Diego County (“Brinker”). As you probably know, the Brinker case has been pending before the California Supreme Court since October 22, 2008. Now, by hearing oral argument on this case, the California Supreme Court has effectively signaled that it will publish a decision within the next 90 days.