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ABM Industries Overtime Cases, 19 Cal. App.5th 277 (2017)

The Appellate Case

In the case of ABM Industries Overtime Cases, a group of janitorial workers sued their employer, ABM Industries, a large facility services company. They claimed that ABM Industries violated California labor laws in several ways. The violations allegedly included not properly recording and compensating employees for meal breaks, requiring employees to work split shifts without sufficient compensation, and not reimbursing employees for travel expenses between work sites.

These workers wanted their case to be a class action lawsuit, representing a larger group of ABM workers who had experienced similar wage and hour violations. However, the trial court initially denied their request for class certification, which would allow them to represent other similarly situated workers. This decision was appealed, and the appellate court determined that the trial court had erred in completely excluding the plaintiffs’ expert evidence. The appellate court ruled that it was an abuse of discretion for the trial court to deny class certification under these circumstances. Therefore, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision.

This means that the employees sued ABM, arguing that the company was not following certain labor laws, particularly about breaks and pay. They wanted to represent all similar workers in their lawsuit, but the trial court initially refused. The appeals court disagreed with the trial court, and reversed its decision, allowing the employees to proceed with their class action lawsuit.

In simpler terms, the workers believed their employer was not following the law when it came to breaks and pay. They wanted to sue on behalf of all workers in similar situations, but the first court said no. The workers disagreed and took the case to a higher court, which said the first court was wrong to say no, and allowed the workers to represent everyone in their lawsuit.

Is It Illegal, or Just Unfair?

Legal cases can be lengthy, complicated, and confusing, but you don’t have to take on the system all by yourself. If you believe someone has violated your individual rights, or the rights of a large group of people in your community, we can help you find the right course of action.

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