Debtor's Prisons?
California Supreme Court Grants Review of Alvarado v. Dart Container Corp

Employer Defeats Class Action Regarding Rounding and Overtime Pay

In Corbin v. Time Warner (9th Cir. 13-55622 5/2/16), the 9th Circuit affirmed a district court’s summary judgment in favor of Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership in a putative class action brought by a Time Warner employee.  In his rounding claim, plaintiff alleged that Time Warner's policy of rounding all employee time stamps to the nearest quarter hour deprived him of earned overtime compensation. The plaintiff also alleged that he was not compensated for one minute when he mistakenly opened an auxiliary computer program before logging into Time Warner’s timekeeping software.

The court held that Time Warner’s rounding policy complied with the federal rounding regulation, 29 C.F.R. § 785.48(b) and that the policy was neutral both on its face and as applied to plaintiff. They concluded that the district court properly interpreted and applied the regulation, and granted summary judgment to the employer.  The district court also properly granted summary judgment on plaintiff’s log-in claim and classified the one minute of uncompensated time as de minimis. The court held that all three factors in Lindow v. United States (9th Cir. 1984) 738 F.2d 1057, 1062 supported the district court’s conclusion that plaintiff’s one minute of uncompensated time was de minimis.

Finally, the 9th Circuit held that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate the existence of a material fact to his derivative California state law claims. Because the court affirmed the summary judgment to Time Warner on the rounding claim, there was no need for the district court to reconsider whether the claim can form the basis of a viable class action proceeding.


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