Employment Law Blog

Filter:  Linder v. Thrifty Oil Co.

Benefits and Requirements for Class Certification

Labor Code §§ 226.7 and 512 and the applicable wage orders require Defendants to authorize and permit meal and rest periods to their employees. California law prohibits employers from employing an employee for more than five hours without a meal period of at least 30 minutes, and from employing an employee more than ten hours per day without providing the employee with a second meal period of not less than 30 minutes. “[A]n employer’s obligation is to provide an off duty meal period: an uninterrupted 30–minute period during which the employee is relieved of all duty.” Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Super. Ct., 53 Cal. 4th 1004, 1035 (2012). “An employer must relieve the employee of all duty for the designated period.” Id. at 1034. An employer cannot “impede or discourage [employees] from [taking breaks].” Id. at 1040. Section 226.7 and applicable wage orders also require employers to authorize and permit employees to take 10-minute rest periods for each four hours or major fraction thereof of work, and to pay employees their full wages during their rest periods. “[A]s a general matter,” one rest break should fall on either side of the meal break.” Id. at 1032. Unless the employee is relieved of all duty during the 30-minute meal period and 10-minute rest period, the employee is considered “on duty” and the meal or rest period is counted as time worked under the applicable wage orders. When an employer fails to provide a rest or meal period in accordance with the applicable wage orders, the employer must pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each workday that a required rest period is not provided, and one additional hour of pay for each work day that a compliant meal period is not provided. Labor Code § 226.7.


Certification of a Class Under California Law

The California Supreme Court has identified three requirements for the certification of a class: (1) “the existence of an ascertainable and sufficiently numerous class”; (2) a well-defined community of interest”; and (3) “substantial benefits from certification that render proceeding as a class superior to the alternatives.” Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum) (2012) 53 Cal.4th 1004, 1021. The community of interest requirement in turn has three factors: (1) common questions of law or fact predominate over individual questions; (2) the class representatives have claims or defenses typical of the class; and (3) the class representatives can adequately represent the class. Id.


Class Rights of Taxi Drivers in Oakland, California

Oakland City Ordinance 5.64.040(d)(1)) unequivocally states that: “Fleet managers shall provide to drivers receipts for all fees collected from said drivers.”

Oakland Municipal Code 5.64.040(C) states:
Fleet management permittees are required to maintain for a period of not less than one year all records pertaining to the fleet manager’s operation and management, including but not limited to all waybills completed by drivers, all dispatch logs, all vehicle inspection records, driver training records, passenger complaints, citation records, leasing records, and insurance records. Fleet managers shall make available for inspection, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., all such records. Fleet managers shall take reasonable efforts to ensure the completeness and accuracy of all records. Any records which are determined to be inadequate, inaccurate, or any request which is not complied with may result in the suspension or revocation of the fleet management permit pursuant to Section 5.64.080.