California Labor &
Employment Law Blog

Sep. 5 2012

Class Certification Found Inappropriate in Another Post-Brinker Meal Break Case

Topics: Class Actions, Court Decisions, Wage & Hour Issues

Continuing the trend of decisions finding class certification inappropiate for meal break claims in the post-Brinker climate, today another California court held that class certification was properly denied in a case alleging a California employer failed to provide its employees meal breaks.  This case was brought against Lamps Plus and alleged meal and rest break claims, as well as other claims du jour, such as inaccurate wage statements and failure to timely pay wages on termination of employment.  The plaintiffs moved for class certification and the trial court denied the motion, finding that class treatment was not appropriate given the predominance of individual issues bearing on a determination of liability.  The court of appeal agreed with the trial court, reasoning that Lamps Plus had compliant meal and rest break policies and that based on Brinker, Lamps Plus was not obligated to ensure employees complied with those policies for every single meal (or rest) break.  As such, the fact that employees may have taken short breaks on some occasions or skipped a break entirely on occasion, did not support class treatment because the individual reasons for missed or short breaks would need to be analyzed to determine if the employer was liable.  The case is Lamps Plus Overtime Cases and the decision is here.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent represents employers, including major food and retail companies, in all types of employment litigation: wrongful termination, retaliation, breach of contract, wage and hour (California Labor Code) and unfair competition. She also regularly counsels and advises California employers on issues of compliance with California and federal employment laws.
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