SAN JOSE, Calif. — A group of truck drivers filed suit against Rich Voss Trucking, their employer, for violations of the wage and overtime provisions of California Labor Law. The suit alleges that the company failed to provide meal or rest periods, pay overtime, minimum wage, and final wages, failed to maintain records and provide accurate and itemized wage statements, and failed to reimburse employees for work expenses. The group ask the state trial court to certify their status as a class, but the trial court refused to certify the suit as a class action and failed to provide a reason for its decision. On appeal, the state appeals court sent the case back down to the trial court because it found no basis for the denial of class certification.
Class Certification of Class Wage Claims
Class certification in California requires the proposed class of plaintiffs to show several things. First, they must show that the class is ascertainable, which means that the class has definition, its size may be estimated, and there are viable means of identifying class members. Next, there has to be a well-defined community of interest in the questions of law and fact involved in the case. Finally, the plaintiff has to also show that treating them as a class is superior to alternative methods of moving forward with the case, including individual litigation. Additionally, the court has to determine whether the representatives of the class present claims that are typical of the class and will adequately represent all members of the class as a whole.
Lack of Information for Class Certification
The employers in this case argued against class certification, claiming that there were no common questions of fact and law. They argued that some of the truck drivers were exempt from California’s overtime rules, and because the companies had compliant policies and procedures, each individual must be considered separately to show whether the policies were adequately followed. Additionally, they questioned the credibility of the class representative because of false statements made on his employment application. The trial court denied certification, but did not give any reason for doing so. Therefore, on appeal, the court insisted that there has to be an explanation of the basis for the denial – otherwise, it could not properly determine whether the trial court ruled properly or erroneously.
Class certification may provide a group of similar employees with an adequate means of resolving common claims while eliminating repetitious litigation. You should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you and and other employees have a valid claim under FLSA and that your claims are common. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.