Category Archives:Wage and Hour

Jury Awards $169,844 In Unpaid Wages

Obtained a $169,844 jury verdict

Kevin R. Allen represented an employee against a San Jose law firm (Pagano & Kass, PC) for unpaid bonus compensation. The complaint was filed in 2015 and was defended vigorously by the law firm’s principals. Mr. Allen successfully opposed a demurrer, motion to strike, motion to reclassify the case as limited, motion for directed verdict, and prevailed on most of the pretrial motions in limine. A jury was empaneled on August 22, 2016. Mr. Allen acted as lead trial counsel with attorney VJ Chetty as second chair. Following a four day trial the jury returned a special verdict for the full $169,844 in unpaid wages Mr. Allen sought on behalf of his client. Following verdict Defendant filed a series of post trial motions including a motion for new trial and a motion for judgement notwithstanding the verdict. The case involved complex wage and hour issues including the interplay between a contractual referral fee provision, California rules of ethics. At a hearing on December 2, 2016 the Court indicated it would deny the Defendant’s post trial motions and grant Plaintiff’s application for prevailing party fees and costs and interest, totaling in excess of $200,000.

9th Cir. Affirms Certification of Meal Break Subclass Premised on On-Duty Meal Period Agreement and "Nature of the Work" Prong of Defense [ABDULLAH V. US SECURITY ASSOCIATES, INC (9th Cir. 11-55653)]

ABDULLAH V. US SECURITY ASSOCIATES, INC (9th Cir. 11-55653 Sept 27, 2013)

The panel affirmed the district court’s order under Fed. R. Civ. P.23 certifying a class of former and current employees of U.S. Security Associates, Inc., who allege that the company committed numerous violations of California labor law. The panel held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by certifying a meal break sub-class, defined as all past and present employees who worked more than six hours and were not provided a meal break and who were not compensated for the meal break. The panel held that under California law the plaintiffs’ claims will yield a common answer that is “apt to drive the resolution of the litigation,” as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(2).The panel also held that common issues of law or fact would predominate, and plaintiffs’ claims “will prevail or fail in unison,” as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3)

Sonic-Calabasas v. Moreno, 2013 DJDAR 13893

FindLaw Summary: In light of AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011) 563 U.S. __: 1) contrary to Sonic I, the Federal Arbitration Agreement (FAA) preempts our state-law rule categorically prohibiting waiver of a Berman hearing (a dispute resolution forum established by the Legislature to assist employees in recovering wages owed) in a predispute arbitration agreement imposed on an employee as a condition of employment; 2) at the same time, state courts may continue to enforce unconscionability rules that do not interfere with fundamental attributes of arbitration; and 3) because evidence relevant to the unconscionability claim was not developed below, the matter is remanded to the trial court to determine whether the present arbitration agreement is unconscionable under the principles set forth in this opinion.