California Supreme Court Depublishes Two Favorable Cases Denying Class Certification
Following the California Supreme Court's long-awaited decision in Brinker last year, lower courts were left to resolve the numerous meal and rest break cases that had been held pending Brinker. As we recently reported, a number of these cases have been favorably decided for California employers, with courts holding that class certification was improper on meal break claims due to the predominance of individual issues bearing on a determination of liability. We reported on two of these specific cases, In re Lamps Plus Overtime Cases and Hernandez v. Chipotle. Following their losses, the plaintiffs in each of these cases petitioned for review to the Supreme Court. Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied review but depublished both cases—suggesting that the Supreme Court did not agree with the court of appeals' analysis in some fashion. This is unfavorable news for California employers and possibly an indicator that the highest court in this state will continue to view class certifcation standards in wage and hour cases with an employee-friendly eye.
In related news, the California Supreme Court granted review yesterday of Reyes v. Liberman Broadcasting—another case addressing the enforceability of employment arbitration agreements and issues of FAA preemption. Review was granted on a “grant and hold” basis pending the Court's decision in Iskanian v. CLS. It appears the Court will continue to grant review on a grant and hold basis of cases dealing with these same issues until the lead case is decided.