- Written by Kimberley A. Worley and Greg Blueford
A California Court held on August 20, 2015 that a certified class of 62,000 Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (“Abercrombie”) employees was not allowed to intervene in a separately settled wage and hour lawsuit against the company. The certified class attempted to intervene in the Abercrombie settlement with former employee Aparicio.
Aparicio’s lawsuit was the first filed and alleged Abercrombie failed to provide rest breaks and waiting time penalties, among other California wage and hour violations. Aparicio and Abercrombie agreed to a settlement that would compensate all class members who worked shifts of three and a half hours or more, including 4,000 individuals who exclusively worked shifts of four to six hours.
Alexander Brown (“Brown”) and Arik Silva (“Silva”), the named plaintiffs in the 62,000 member certified class, filed their separate lawsuit against Abercrombie nine months after Aparicio, claiming they were illegally required to buy Abercrombie’s clothing as a condition of their employment. They also wanted to conduct additional discovery into an alleged secret rest break policy that was known only to Abercrombie managers and posted on the company’s intranet website. This tactic would have dramatically increased the cost of litigation for Abercrombie while lining the pockets of Brown and Silva’s attorneys in a potential settlement.
- Written by Susannah L. Ashton
California’s Paid Sick Leave (“PSL”) law went into effect just two months ago, and in that time, the law has already undergone one major amendment, as we previously advised on July 14, 2015. Now, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) has issued an Opinion Letter (“OL”) addressing the applications of the time periods set forth in the law. Not such a great start for new legislation.
The law as written requires 24 hours or three days of PSL, based on a standard eight-hour day/40-hour week schedule. The legislature did not consider harvesters and other agricultural workers who work a varying schedule that often requires at least 10-hour days, or employers whose employees have elected an alternative workweek schedule. The OL, dated August 7, 2015, addresses this issue and clarifies that employees should be given the greater of either 24 hours or three days of PSL, regardless of whether the frontloading or accrual method is selected. This means that employees whose regular work day is 10 hours would get the greater of 24 hours or three 10-hour days.
Under the frontloading method, while an “8 and 40” worker would receive three days or 24 hours of leave at the beginning of each year (which may be defined as the beginning of the calendar year, anniversary date, or other twelve-month basis), an agricultural worker covered by Wage Order 14 would receive three days or 30 hours of leave at the beginning of the year. Similarly, under the Accrual Method, which requires that an employer provide one hour of PSL for every 30 hours worked, employers may limit the use of PSL to 24 hours or three days within each “year” (which is any twelve-month basis as defined by the employer’s policy). Again, employees who work 10-hour days should receive the greater of 24 hours or three 10-hour days.