California Labor &
Employment Law Blog

Dec. 14 2012

California Supreme Court Depublishes Two Favorable Cases Denying Class Certification

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

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.

About CDF

For over 20 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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