On March 4, 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal remanded the wage and hour class action to the district court for reconsideration of its 2005 order granting class certification in light of changes in the law, namely those set forth in the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision Dukes v. Wal-Mart and California Supreme Court decision Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court. In 2010, the Ninth Circuit had affirmed in full an $8.7 million judgment against the newspaper on each wage and hour claim brought by a class of more than 200 employees
In its decision, the Ninth Circuit refused to limit to the class certification stage the evidence to be considered by the district court and instructed the court to “consult the entire record” of the case. This evidence includes weeks of testimony at trial upon which the jury and the district court considered in determining that the newspaper had engaged in widespread violations of the California Labor Code, including the failure to pay overtime and to provide its employees with meal and rest periods. Not only did the newspaper refuse to pay its employees for all of the hours that they worked, but it regularly required reporters and salespersons to work 12 hour days in order to meet a “daily quota.” The jury rendered a verdict of more than $5M in favor of the employees which was later supplemented by an award of interest, attorney’s fees and costs by the district court.
The plaintiffs and plaintiff class have been represented throughout trial and appeal by Hadsell Stormer Richardson & Renick partners Randy Renick and Cornelia Dai.