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.

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For over 25 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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