Employers in California, at least, got bad news Thursday when the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled a class certification was appropriate for hundreds of wage-and-hour suits.
A Law.com article this morning relates the Superior Court of Los Angeles' having found that "employees had established by a proponderance of the evidence that common issues predominated" and declared the case a class action. Los Angeles' 2nd. District Court of Appeals, however, reversed that decision in 2002, holding that because "the employees' job descriptions were so different, regardless of their titles, there could be no class-- the first time that a California appeals court ruled that class certification was not appropriate in a wage-and-hour case.
California's Supreme Court disagreed, saying ".. individual issues do not render class certification inappropriate so long as such issues may effectively be managed. Nor is it a bar to certification that individual class members may ultimately need to itemize their damages."
(Sav-on Drug Stores Inc. v. Superior Court, 04 C.D.O.S. 7902,
2004 Cal. Lexis 7806, 2004 WL 1902370 (Cal.) )