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More on Gentry

The UCL Practitioner has several posts with perspectives from others who attended the Gentry argument on Tuesday. Most observers seem to agree that the Supreme Court appears unlikely to uphold Circuit City's agreement, and that they will specify some or all of the circumstances, at least in wage & hour cases, in which a class action prohibition would be invalidated. We, of course, are rooting for "always." One of Kimberly Kralowec's observations that we found worth repeating, is that Supreme Court appears to have been granting review in cases upholding class action prohibitions, and denying review in cases striking them. That could give further cause for speculation that there will be a sweeping opinion in Gentry.

Meanwhile, a somewhat less glamorous wage and hour case was argued yesterday, and there seems to be little discussion about it yet. Prachasaisoradej v. Ralph’s Grocery Co., no. S128576, will answer the question of whether an employee bonus plan based on a profit figure that is reduced by a store's expenses, including the cost of workers compensation insurance and cash and inventory losses, violates Business and Professions Code § 17200, Labor Code §§ 221, 400 through 410, or 3751, or California Code of Regulations, title 8, section 11070. In Prachasaisoradej, a production manager challenged his bonus calculations, relying on the holding in Ralphs Grocery Co. v. Superior Court (2003) 112 Cal.App.4th 1090, that said workers' compensation expenses cannot be included in bonus calculations. The Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the employee. We aren't quite as optimistic for Prachasaisoradej as we are for Gentry, but we haven't the benefit of any news from yesterday's audience.


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