California Labor &
Employment Law Blog

Aug. 3 2010

Employer Prevails in Class Action Alleging Incomplete Wage Statements

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

A recently published California case, Morgan v. United Retail Inc., illustrates just how ridiculous the wage and hour litigation front in California has gotten. In this case, the plaintiff brought a putative class action against her employer alleging the employer’s pay stubs failed to comply with California Labor Code section 226 because the stubs did not have a separate line listing the employee’s total hours worked. Instead, the stubs separately listed the total regular hours and the total overtime hours, but did not also provide the sum total of those two numbers on a separate line. The plaintiff succeeded in getting a class certified but then lost the war when the court granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment. In finding for the employer, the court held that the employer’s pay stubs satisfied the requirements of Labor Code section 226 by listing the total regular hours and the total overtime hours. The fact that the stubs did not separately list the sum total of these hours was insufficient to establish a violation of section 226.

Because the court found that the stubs complied with section 226, the court refused to decide two other arguments made by the employer—that the plaintiff was in no way injured by the omission of the sum total of hours on the pay stub, and that the employer’s omission of the sum total was not knowing or intentional. Perhaps these issues will be decided in another one of the many cases now alleging hyper-technical wage statement violations.

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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