Lubin v. Wackenhut Corp.

In this meal and rest break action against a guard service company, the trial court erred in decertifying the class for lack of common questions of fact, because the fact that some employees may have been given adequate off-duty meal breaks went only to damages and thus did not undermine the predominance of common issuesThe trial court erred in decertifying the class in this meal and rest break action against a guard service company.  Common questions predominated because the important question was whether the defendant employer’s policy complied with state law.  The employer required new hires to sign consents to on-duty meal breaks and then left to the guard service’s clients the decision whether they wished to provide off-duty meal breaks to the guards.  The opinion holds that this delegation of responsibility for providing meal breaks was not in accord with California law, nor was the uniform requirement of consent to on-duty meal breaks, particularly as many of the consents did not include legally required warning that the consent could be withdrawn at any time.  WalMart v. Dukes did not support the decertification, but instead involved distinguishable discrimination claims in the context of no existing policy.  The fact that some employees may have been given adequate off-duty meal breaks went only to damages and thus did not undermine the predominance of common issues.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4 (Epstein, P.J.); November 21, 2016; 2016 WL 6835499

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