The Central District granted Plaintiffs' motion to compel the names and contact information of all putative class members today in Alvarez v. Hyatt Regency Long Beach, CV 09-04791. Hotel workers at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach represented by HSRR's Randy Renick and Radhika Sainathfiled a class action lawsuit in May 2009, alleging the hotel failed to pay them and other non-exempt employees for all hours worked, that they did not receive meal and rest breaks and were not paid for missed breaks as required by California law. The Court found, in contrast to Hyatt's arguments, that the disclosure of this information is "common practice" in the in the class action context and that an opt-out system was not necessary for both pragmatic and legal reasons. As such, Defendants were ordered to deliver this information directly to Plaintiffs' counsel within two days. The decision can be read here.
In a blow to hotels near Los Angeles International Airport already suffering from high vacancies, a state appeals court has ruled against them in a fight over tips. The Second District Appellate Court upheld a 2006 city ordinance requiring that hotel managers turn over "service fees" they collect to banquet staff, porters and other employees. Hotel executives haven't decided whether to pursue a state Supreme Court appeal of the ruling, which could result in retroactive payment of millions of dollars. The ruling, which reverses a district court's rejection of the ordinance, sends the case to Superior Court for trial, where damages and back payment will be determined. As a result of the ruling, the employees of hotels can proceed in their lawsuit to collect their share of service fees charge.
The cities of Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach will fork over $420,000 to 14 supermarket workers to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit over the workers' treatment by police six years ago, plaintiffs lawyer, HSRR's Dan Stormer said Monday. The lawsuit, filed in December 2004 in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, stems from the contentious labor dispute involving Ralphs, Vons, Safeway and Albertsons and members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union during the 2004 grocery strike and lockout. Read more.
On September 8, 2010, the California Court of Appeals ruled that the employees of the Renaissance Montura Hotel, the Marriott LAX, the Four Points Sheraton, Hilton Los Angeles Airport, and the Radisson Hotel LAX hotels are allowed to recover service fees collected by the hotels since 2008. The panel of three judges from the Second Appellate District reversed the dismissals of class action lawsuits brought by employees of five hotels which had failed to pay to their employees mandatory service charges in violation of a city ordinance. The Court of Appeal held that the City of Los Angeles' Hotel Service Charge Reform Ordinance was not preempted by the California Labor Code provisions regulating gratuities and was not unconstitutional. As a result of the ruling, the employees of hotels can proceed in their lawsuit to collect their share of service fees charge. You can view the opinion here.
HSRR, along with the ACLU, has filed a class action complaint against Terra Universal, a Fullerton, California based medical equipment manufacturer, alleging that the company deprived its employees, many of who were undocumented, of overtime, rest and meal breaks, and threatened the employees with deportation to keep them quiet. Randy Renick, an attorney representing the plaintiff has said: "In all my years of practicing law I've never seen such a sophisticated and oppressive scheme to cheat employees of their wages. More coverage and news video here.