|April 23, 2019 | www.fisherphillips.com|
As any experienced class action litigator knows, the main issue driving the direction of a case is not always the merits of the claims themselves. Instead, the central question is often whether the claims can be certified as a class action; that is, whether the court will permit the plaintiff to represent other workers on the same claims. For example, while individual wage and hour claims can appear at first glance to be insignificant, they have proven to reach monumental proportions when certified as class claims. This was illustrated recently in the California Supreme Court decision of Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., upholding an award of over $90 million for rest period violations.
Perhaps no law is a better example of California’s finicky wage and hour rules than Labor Code section 226, which governs the format, content, and issuance of pay stubs. Even well-intentioned and otherwise careful employers can find themselves on the defensive over seemingly innocuous and ministerial mistakes, despite their great efforts to ensure compliance with state wage laws. Rather than eliminating the problem, new technology has in many cases only complicated the matter by raising new questions on how to program computer systems (often designed without California’s highly specific regulations in mind) to produce compliant statements.