In a wage and hour class action, where a corporation with no employees owns a corporation with employees, and the former exercises some control over the latter and its employees, may the former be an “employer” of the latter’s employees?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The answer: yes, as stated in the very first paragraph of Castaneda v. Ensign Group, Inc. (filed 9/15/14) B249119, following rehearing.  There, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Six, reversed the summary judgment that had been granted dismissing Ensign from the action. Castaneda filed a class action on behalf of himself and other […]

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Cal Supreme Court: Arbitration agreement waiver of right to class procedure approved; but right to bring PAGA representative action cannot be waived.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (filed 6/23/14) S20432, the California Supreme Court majority has delivered a split decision on the question of whether an arbitration agreement that waives a party’s right to bring a representative action on behalf of others is enforceable. Representative actions in the form of class actions brought to […]

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Must a wage-and-hour misclassification class action judgment be reversed because the trial court denied defendant employer the opportunity to impeach plaintiffs’ statistical model where the sampling belied consistency in class member work habits?

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In the much-awaited California Supreme Court opinion of Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association (filed 5/29/14) S200923, the state high court answered affirmatively, reversing the judgment. There, loan officers sued for unpaid overtime, claiming they had been misclassified as exempt employees under the outside salesperson exemption, exempting from overtime pay entitlement employees who spend more […]

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Don’t trust article headnotes: Class arbitration required only on contractual principles.

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

I hope those of you reading this blog, or any other blog or case commentary, choose to read the discussed opinion rather than rely on the headnote or summary found in the commentary. Recently I came across the following headnote: “Gentry v. Superior Court, which permits invalidation of class action arbitration waivers, remains viable despite […]

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Purported appeal of order compelling arbitration treated as extraordinary petition; order compelling individual arbitration affirmed

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

In Nelsen v. Legacy Partners Residential, Inc. (filed July 18, 2012) 2012 DJDAR 9956, plaintiff Lorena Nelson worked for defendant as a property manager from 2006 to 2009. Early in her employment she received a 43-page pre-printed form employee handbook that included a small-print arbitration clause at page 42 headed “TEAM MEMBER ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND AGREEMENT.” […]

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Public policy considerations no longer a bar to enforcement of class action waiver in employment arbitration agreement

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011) __ U.S.__ [131 S. Ct 1740] changed the legal landscape concerning class arbitrations. The United States Supreme expressly overturned the California Supreme Court ruling in Discover Bank v. Superior Court (2005) 36 Cal.4th 153, which had held that class action waivers in contracts of adhesion subject to arbitration are […]

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Brinker: Clearing up some uncertainty in rest & meal period/ wage & hour class actions

Posted by Steven Vartabedian on

The California Supreme Court gave readers a “two-fer” when it issued its long-awaited opinion in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court (filed April 12, 2012) 2012 DJDAR 4615. As the court noted in its unanimous opinion, it granted review “to consider issues of significance to class actions generally and to meal and rest break class […]

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