Kizer v. Tristar Risk Management

Trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying class certification in this suit for overtime compensation by claims examiners, since plaintiff had not shown that it could prove, by common evidence, that all of the claims examiners in the proposed class actually worked overtime; hence there was no preponderance of common issues.  The trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying class certification in this suit for overtime compensation by claims examiners working for a company that handled claims for self-insured parties.  While there was a common issue as to whether the employer had misclassified the claims examiners as exempt administrative employees, the trial court properly found that the plaintiff had not shown that it could prove, by common evidence, that all of the claims examiners in the proposed class actually worked overtime.  Working overtime was a key element of plaintiff’s claim; classification as exempt was an affirmative defense.  Without common proof of the fact of working overtime, there was no preponderance of common issues.  The analysis was no different on plaintiff’s 17200 claim since to prove an unlawful practice, he still had to prove that the class members worked overtime.

California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 3 (Aronson, J.); June 26, 2017 (modified & published July 26, 2017); 2017 WL 3172823

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