In re Walgreen Co. Overtime Cases, 231 Cal. App. 4th 437 (2014)
The putative class members in this case moved for class certification on the theory that although Walgreens’s stated policy on meal breaks was proper, its actual practice departed from its stated policy in an illegal and class wide way. The trial court denied class certification, and the Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that the evidence was too weak to support certification, including a declaration from plaintiffs’ expert statistician (he incorrectly assumed a Labor Code violation every time a worker did not take a break) and declarations from the putative class members themselves that were “unreliable” and largely recanted during the witnesses’ depositions: “There is nothing attractive about submitting form declarations contrary to the witnesses’ actual testimony. This practice corrupts the pursuit of truth.” See also Koval v. Pacific Bell Tel. Co., 2014 WL 7447715 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014) (uniform policies governing meal and rest breaks that were disseminated orally by line supervisors varied so widely – creating a “shifting kaleidoscope of liability determinations” – that class certification was properly denied).
Trial Court Properly Denied Class Certification For Unpaid Meal Break Claims