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Category Archives: Class Action

Unpaid Internships: Priceless Opportunity or Illegal Employment?

This time of year, many companies consider summer interns. It’s a great opportunity for everyone. The student gets experience and you get free workers, right? Not so fast. Although forty-seven percent of students who graduated college in 2012 worked as an intern – for free –those interns come with considerable risk. Companies such as Fox Searchlight and Hearst Corporation are still entangled in litigation brought by unpaid interns who worked for the company free of charge in hopes of entry into the industry. As summer approaches, it is a good time to evaluate whether your unpaid internship program is creating.... Read More >


Supreme Court Decides Brinker–Employers Must Merely Provide Breaks

By: Sam G. Sherman, Esq. The California Supreme Court decided Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Sup. Ct. today. Of course, employers throughout the state have been watching this case closely and waiting to see whether the Supreme Court would require employers to “ensure” employees take meal breaks, or merely “provide” employees with those breaks. Ultimately, the Court decided the following: Employers are obligated to afford hourly employees meal and rest periods and to relieve employees of all duties during those meal and rest periods. However, the employer must not “ensure” an employee actually takes a break or that the employee performs.... Read More >


Ninth Circuit Rules that Stage Corporation Drivers Can Maintain Lawsuit Challenging Independent Contractor Classification

By: Sam G. Sherman, Esq. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided Kairy v. Super Shuttle International yesterday. At issue was whether a plaintiff could sue in state or federal court alleging independent contractor misclassification or whether the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has exclusive jurisdiction over employee classification. SuperShuttle Internation provides shared-ride airport shuttle service. In California, SuperShuttle is considered a PSC subject to PUC regulations. Prior to 2001, SuperShuttle classified its drivers as employees. SuperShuttle then shifted to a “unit franchise model” and licensees hired drivers as independent contractors. Plaintiffs in the case are current or former “franchisee”.... Read More >


California Supreme Court Schedules Oral Argument in Brinker

By: Sam G. Sherman, Esq. The California Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will hear oral argument in Brinker v. Superior Court. Oral argument is scheduled for November 8, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. in San Francisco. The Court generally has only 90 days from oral argument to issue its decision. Brinker has been watched closely by employers (and plaintiff’s counsel) across the state. At issue is whether an employer must merely provide its employees with meal and rest breaks or, on the other hand, whether they must actually ensure those breaks are taken. Requiring employers to “ensure” a break is.... Read More >


Pitts v. Terrible Herbst, Inc. (9th Cir. 10-15965 8/9/1) FLSA/Class Action

By Alexis Gutierrez Wage/Hour Class Action Decision applying federal procedural law and NV state law. Take-Away: Defendant employer could not “pick off” representative plaintiff to end class action lawsuit. A defendant may “moot” a class action through an offer of settlement only if he satisfies the demands of the class; an offer to one cannot moot the action because it is not an offer to all. Summary Of Decision: In April 2009, Gareth Pitts filed a class action complaint in Nevada state court against his employer, Terrible Herbst, Inc. (“Terrible”). The complaint alleged that Terrible failed to pay Pitts and.... Read More >


U.S. Supreme Court Denies Class Certification in Wal-Mart Sex Discrimination Suit

By Sam G. Sherman The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied class certification in a suit brought by a class of roughly 1.5 million female current and former Wal-Mart employees in Wal-Mart v. Dukes. The female employees alleged that Wal-Mart’s policy of providing local managers with discretion over employment decisions has a disproportionate impact against female employees in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court after the trial court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals certified the class. The Supreme Court reversed finding the absence of a common.... Read More >


U.S. Supreme Court Denies Class Certification in Wal-Mart Sex Discrimination Suit

The U.S. Supreme Court recently denied class certification in a suit brought by a class of roughly 1.5 million female current and former Wal-Mart employees in Wal-Mart v. Dukes. The female employees alleged that Wal-Mart’s policy of providing local managers with discretion over employment decisions has a disproportionate impact against female employees in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court after the trial court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals certified the class. The Supreme Court reversed finding the absence of a common question of law or.... Read More >


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