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    « Where NOT To Find Wage and Hour Advice | Main | Gap Settles Wardrobing Class Action »



    In concrete terms, how will this hurt wage and hour class actions? If it's an FLSA claim, there's federal jurisdiction anyway. If it's a state law claim, there's no diversity. Are there cases involving state wage and hour claims from a number of different states at the same time?

    M Walsh

    In California, this is potentially disastrous for plaintiffs. California law is much more favorable to employees than federal law. Few FLSA cases are filed in California unless the case seeks to include class action status for multi-state workers beyond California's borders.

    The diversity provisions in this proposal include many actions in which the defendant employer is a citizen of another state. Many large California employers are incorporated in Delaware and have their headquarters in states other than California. All five class actions with informational websites we have linked to in this weblog involve defendants which are not citizens of California. The defendants are headquartered in Florida, Massachusetts, Florida, Arkansas and Arizona. Cases brought by California employees against any of the five would be diverse under the proposed statute.

    How does this hurt class action plaintiffs? In many ways. Among the ways the law will benefit the defendants: first and foremost, cases in state court move much faster. District Courts are already overburdened, understaffed and riddled with judicial vacancies. We have seen judges keep motions under submission for as long as 13 months. Trials are regularly set eighteen months or more after the trial setting conference. And if this law passes, it will get worse.

    California law is more favorable to employees with respect to tolling of statutes of limitations, enforcement of arbtration agreements, arbitration of class actions, pre-certification notices, and a broad scope of discovery without arbitrary limits on deposition length, quantities of interrogatories and requests for admissions.


    I still don't get it. If it's an FLSA claim, isn't there already federal jurisdiction, regardless of the citizenship of the parties? Which means defendants can already get it into federal court if they want?

    M Walsh

    Yes, if brought as an FLSA claim, defendants can get to federal court. Most California wage and hour lawyers forego the FLSA claims because the California Labor Code provides better protection than the FLSA.


    I see the problem. Even if the entire class is from CA, and every member is employed by the defendant in California, the defendant can still get into federal court if it's a citizen of another state. I agree, that's ridiculous.

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    I agree with you the way you view the issue. I remember Jack London once said everything positive has a negative side; everything negative has positive side. It is also interesting to see different viewpoints & learn useful things in the discussion


    Three phrases should be among the most common in our daily usage. They are: Thank you, I am grateful and I appreciate.

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