Our colleague Michael S. Kun, a Member of the Firm at Epstein Becker Green, has a post on the Wage and Hour Defense Blog that will be of interest to many of our readers in the hospitality industry: “Taco Bell Employees Likely Are Not Celebrating Their ‘Victory’ in California Meal and Rest Period Class Action.”
Following is an excerpt:
More than a few media sources have reported on the March 10, 2016 wage-hour “victory” by a class of Taco Bell employees on meal period claims in a jury trial in the Eastern District of California. A closer review of the case and the jury verdict suggests that those employees may not be celebrating after all — and that Taco Bell may well be the victor in the case.
The trial involved claims that Taco Bell had not complied with California’s meal and rest period laws. The employees sought meal and rest period premiums and associated penalties for a class of employees that reportedly exceeded 134,000 members.
Now, it is certainly true that, at trial, a class of employees prevailed on a claim that Taco Bell did not comply with California meal period laws for a limited period of time (2003-2007), when Taco Bell reportedly provided employees with 30 minutes of pay when they were not able to take meal periods, rather than the full one-hour of pay provided for by California law.
And it is certainly true that the class of employees was awarded approximately $496,000 on that claim.
But as it appears that there were more than 134,000 employees in the class, a few punches on the calculator show that, on average, each employee would receive approximately $3.70. …