Trial Court Properly Refused To Certify Rest Break Class Action

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Proskauer - California Employment Law

Davidson v. O’Reilly Auto Enter., LLC, 968 F.3d 955 (9th Cir. 2020)

Kia Davidson worked as a delivery specialist at one of O’Reilly’s stores in San Bernardino. In this putative class action, Davidson alleged that she and other employees did not receive their rest breaks as required by state law based upon the fact that O’Reilly’s policy documents required 10-minute rest breaks for every four hours of work but did not include the language of the regulation, requiring such breaks for every four hours “or major fraction thereof.” The district court denied Davidson’s motion to certify the class on the ground that Davidson did not show that the policy was applied to employees in a way that violated California law or that the putative class of employees suffered a common injury. The Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that “the mere existence of a facially defective written policy – without any evidence that it was implemented in an unlawful manner – does not constitute significant proof that a class of employees [was] subject to an unlawful practice.” See also Sanchez v. Martinez, 2020 WL 5494239 (Cal. Ct. App. 2020) (trial court properly calculated damages owed to farmworkers who were denied rest periods).

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