March 14, 2014

Victory in Wage & Hour Class Action

Payne & Fears LLP obtained summary judgment on behalf of its client, a major national manufacturer, in a wage-and-hour class action in which the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant had failed to provide its union-represented employees with meal periods required under state law.  Payne & Fears LLP removed the action (which had been filed in California Superior Court) to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California based on the argument that plaintiffs’ claims were preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act.  Payne & Fears LLP then successfully resisted the plaintiffs’ motion to remand by demonstrating that the putative class members had agreed, through the applicable collective bargaining agreement, to take “on-duty” meal periods, and that the relevant contract terms required interpretation that could only be performed under the Labor Management Relations Act.  The court then granted Payne & Fears’ motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case.  James L. Payne, Jeffrey K. Brown and James R. Moss handled the defense of the case.