Challenge to 12-Hour Shift Pay Practice Defeated in Significant Class Action Lawsuit Before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal

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Sheppard Mullin partner Douglas Hart achieved a major victory for employers everywhere when the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in the class action lawsuit entitled Parth v. Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center on October 22, 2009. The Ninth Circuit ruled as a matter of first impression that it is permissible for an employer to reduce pay rates to achieve cost neutrality under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") in conjunction with the implementation of a 12-hour shift program. This decision, issued in one of the most significant wage and hour cases to reach the U.S. Court of Appeal in years, is likely to be widely cited in other cases against California hospitals and should greatly benefit the entire health care industry.

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