Michael Kun Wins Class Certification Case for Joe’s Crab Shack

Employment Law360

Michael Kun, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice and the national Co-Chairperson of the firm's Wage and Hour, Individual and Collective Actions practice group, won a class certification case for Joe's Crab Shack.

Following is an excerpt:

A California judge shot down a motion for class certification Wednesday in a overtime and meal break case brought on behalf of Joe's Crab Shack managers, holding that a class action wasn't the best way to resolve the case because of the need for individual inquiries.

Judge Charles F. Palmer's ruling pointed out that plaintiffs all said in depositions that they were unable to estimate the number of hours they spent on exempt versus nonexempt tasks, and that the amount of time spent of such tasks varied on a daily basis.

The principal defense asserted in the case — which targeted Ignite Restaurant Group Inc., owner of the Joe's Crab Shack chain — was that the plaintiffs engaged in exempt managerial tasks more than 50 percent of the time, which would mean that overtime requirements wouldn't apply. Exempt employees also can't recover premium pay for missed meal and rest breaks.

Reprinted with permission from Portfolio Media.