The Supreme Court has denied a petition for review, but granted a request for depublication in Bell v. Superior Court (H.F. Cox, Inc.) (2007) 158 Cal.App.4th 147, a class certification opinion involving truck drivers with overtime, off-the-clock, meal/rest period and vacation pay claims.
The petition for review is denied. The requests for an order directing depublication of the opinion are granted. The Reporter of Decisions is directed not to publish in the Official Appellate Reports the opinion in the above-entitled appeal filed November 21, 2007, which appears at 158 Cal.App.4th 147. (Cal. Const., art. VI, section 14; rule 8.1125(c)(1), Cal. Rules of Court.) George, C.J., was absent and did not participate. Kennard J., is of the opinion the petition should be granted.
The Court of Appeal had affirmed in part and reversed in part a multiple-issue certification ruling by the Superior Court.
Four employees of a petroleum transportation company sought to bring a wage and hour class action against their employer, alleging: (1) the failure to pay overtime; (2) the requirement of off-the-clock work; (3) the failure to provide meal and rest breaks; (4) the incorrect calculation of vacation pay; and (5) the failure to pay pro rata vacation pay upon termination of employment. The plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification. The trial court granted the motion in part, certifying only a class with respect to the claim for failure to pay vacation pay upon termination of employment. In all other respects, the motion was denied. Plaintiffs sought review by means of a petition for writ of mandate. We issued an order to show cause why relief should not be granted and stayed further proceedings. We now conclude the trial court erred in failing to certify a class with respect to the overtime pay and vacation pay claims. We therefore grant the writ petition and direct the trial court to vacate its order, and enter a new and different order granting certification of a class with respect to those claims.
While on its face, the opinion had seemed to favor the plaintiff (who was the petitioner seeking Supreme Court review) the Court of Appeal's endorsement of the denial of certification in the off-the-clock and meal period causes of action had been embraced by the employers' bar, who will lament the depublication of the case.
We previously discussed the publication of and holding in Bell in a post here.