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Castillo v. Sheraton Operating Corporation – Preliminary Approval

On April 9, 2019, Judge Fernando M. Olguin of the United States District Court, Central District issued an Amended Order Re: Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement.  Pursuant to the Court’s order, the Order along with a full copy of the Settlement Agreement can be downloaded by using the following links:

Amended Settlement Agreement

Amended Preliminary Approval Order

Further, pursuant to the Court’s Order, a copy of Plaintiff’s Motion for Approval of Attorney’s Fees, Costs and Representative Enhancement can be downloaded using the following link:

Motion for Approval of Attorney’s Fees, Costs and Representative Enhancement

The Final Approval/Fairness Hearing has been set for August 22, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 6D of the United States District Court located at 350 W. 1st Street, 6th Floor, Los Angeles, CA  90012, before the Honorable Fernando M. Olguin.

If you have any further questions, please call our office at 213-381-1515 or email edward.choi@choiandassociates.com.

6 Figure Settlement for unpaid final commission wages, business expenses and penalties

Two individual Plaintiffs worked as outside sales employees.  Plaintiffs alleged that they were not paid their final commission wages.  Plaintiffs’ commission agreement contained a clause that they would only be paid commissions when the Defendant collected payment on the sales generated by Plaintiffs.  Their commission agreement also contained a clause that they would only be paid commissions during their employment.  Plaintiffs allege that they were entitled to commissions for sales generated during their last month of employment, even though Defendant did not collect payment until after their termination of employment.  Plaintiffs alleged that the clause in the commission agreement was an unlawful forfeiture of post-termination commission wages in violation of California Civil Code §1442.

Plaintiffs also alleged that they were entitled to business expenses.  They were both required to drive their personal vehicles and utilize their cell phones to carry out their duties as outside sales employees. One Plaintiff was not provided with any reimbursement for his business expenses.  The other Plaintiff was provided with a car allowance, but alleged that the car allowance did not fully compensate him for all of the miles that he drove for the Defendant as required by the California Supreme Court’s ruling in Gattuso v. Harte-Hanks Shoppers, Inc. (2007) 42 Cal.4th 554.  Plaintiffs also sought penalties pursuant to Labor Code section 203 for late payment of each of their commission wages that they earned during their employment and pursuant to Labor Code section 226 for wage statement violations.

To protect confidentiality, the names of the parties and case number are not being disclosed.

Judgment Obtained in Wage and Hour Individual Case for $89,193.60

Plaintiff worked as a caregiver for Defendant for a little over 2 years.  She was paid paid on a flat daily salary of $108 to work 24 hour shifts.  Plaintiff sought damages for (1) Unpaid minimum and overtime wages pursuant to Labor Code section 1194; (2) meal and rest break penalties pursuant to Labor Code section 226.7; (3) waiting time penalties pursuant to Labor Code 203; (4) wage statement penalties pursuant to Labor Code 226; and (5) interest pursuant to Labor Code 1194 for a total of $89,193.60.  The case went to trial in front of Honorable Steven J. Kleifield in Department 53 of the Los Angeles Superior Court.  Plaintiff was represented by Edward W. Choi of the Law Offices of Choi & Associates.  After presenting evidence, the case being argued and submitted to the Court for decision, the court entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff in the amount of $89,193.60.  Plaintiff will also seek attorney’s fees and costs in a separate motion.

The case number is BC 555114.

Final Approval of $3.25 Million Settlement Granted in a Wage Statement Class Action

On November 17, 2015, The Law Offices of Choi and Associates, Diversity Law Group, PC and Lee Law Offices, APLC, were granted final approval of a wage statement class action in the amount of $3.25 million by the United States District Court.  Per terms of the settlement agreement, the class counsel agreed not to post the name of the case on their respective websites.

Meal Break Class Action against Securitas Critical Infrastructure (formerly known as Pinkerton Government Services) continues

One of the oldest pending cases for the Law Offices of Choi & Associates continues.  On February 28, 2011, Plaintiff Catherine E Avilez filed a class action complaint against Securitas Critical Infrastructure (formerly known as Pinkerton Government Services) in the Orange County Superior Court.  The case was removed by Defendant to the United States District Court, Central District Case No. 8:11-cv-00493-DOC-RZ.  On October 9, 2012, the Court certified the following classes:  (1) “all DEFENDANTS’ past and present California employees who worked more than 5 hours in any work shift as a Security Guard from September 17, 2009 through the present” (“Meal Break Class” or “Class 1”); and/or (2) “all DEFENDANTS[’] past and present California employees who worked as Security Guards from September 17, 2009 through the present who received itemized wage statements” (“Wage Statement Class” or “Class 2”) and also certified the following Sublcasses:  (a) “all DEFENDANTS’ past and present California employees who worked more than 5 hours in any ‘on-duty meal break’ work shift as a Security Guard from September 17, 2009 through the present” (“Meal Break Subclass” or “Subclass (a)”); (b) “all DEFENDANTS[’] past and present California employees who worked as Security Guards in any ‘on-duty meal break’ work shift from September 17, 2009 through the present who received itemized wage statements” (“Wage Statement Subclass” or “Subclass (b)”); (c) “all DEFENDANTS’ past and present California employees who worked more than 5 hours in any ‘on-duty meal break’ work shift as a Security Guard from September 17, 2009 through the present and who did not sign any Dispute Resolution Agreement containing a Class Action Waiver” (“No-Signed-Waiver Subclass” or “Subclass (c)”); (d) “all DEFENDANTS’ past and present California employees who worked more than 5 hours in any ‘on-duty meal break’ work shift as a Security Guard, and was presented with and signed a Dispute Resolution Agreement containing a Class Action Waiver, at any time between September 17, 2009 through the date each respective employee signed said agreement” (“Signed-Waiver Subclass” or “Subclass (d)”).

Defendant petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for leave to appeal this Court’s October 9, 2012 Order granting class certification.  On January 23, 2013, Defendant’s petition was granted.  On April 1, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a mandate to follow the Ninth Circuit’s March 9, 2015 judgment which directed the District Court to “certify a class under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(c)(4) on the issue whether there exists a prima facie case for liability. If a prima facie case exists, the district court may proceed to entertain Pinkerton’s affirmative defenses and cull the class accordingly.”

The case continues to be litigated in the United States District Court.  If you have any questions regarding this case, please contact the Law Offices of Choi & Associates at 213-381-1515.

Wage Statement Class Action against CVS

On September 29, 2015, Plaintiff Willie Brown, a former employee of CVS, initiated a class action Complaint for violations of LABOR CODE §§226 and 2698 et seq. (PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ACT) in the United States District Court – Central District – Case No. 2:15-cv-07631-JFW-PJW.  Plaintiff is represented by the Law Offices of Choi & Associates, P.C., the Diversity Law Group, P.C., Lee Law Offices, APLC, and Hyun Legal, APC.  Plaintiff seeks to certify a class of “All current and former California non-exempt employees of Defendants who received any wages from Defendants at any time during the
period of time from September 29, 2014, through the present” (the “Wage Statement Class”); and a subclass of “All current and former non-exempt California employees of Defendants who received “shift diff” or any shift differential pay at any time from September 29, 2014, through the present (the “Shift Differential Sub-Class”)”.  If you are a member of the class, please contact the Law Offices of Choi & Associates at 213-381-1515.

PAGA Representative Actions Cannot Be Compelled to Arbitration

In June 2015, the California Court of Appeal in the case of Williams v. Superior Court (2015) 237 Cal. App. 4th 642, overturned a trial court ruling granting Defendant’s motion to compel Plaintiff’s representative PAGA case to arbitration.  The Court of Appeal held that pursuant to the holding in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348, 384, a representative PAGA action cannot be compelled to arbitration.

The Law Offices of Choi & Associates along with the Diversity Law Group, P.C. continues to litigate this case in the Los Angeles Superior Court – Complex Civil West.  The trial court case number is BC 497309.  The underlying case alleges that Defendant Securitas Critical Infrastructure Services, Inc. (formerly known as Pinkerton Government Services, Inc.) failed to provide legally mandated rest periods in violation of California Labor Code section 226.7.  Plaintiff seeks penalties under Lab. Code, § 2699 et seq on behalf of all aggrieved employees of Defendant.  

If you have any questions regarding this case, please contact the Law Offices of Choi & Associates at 213-381-1515.

ABOUT US

Law Offices of Choi & Associates prides itself in representing Plaintiffs for major injury accidents, lemon law, labor law and class actions. Our staff is committed to providing our clients with the best representation with bilingual staff that are fluent in Korean and Spanish.

L.A. Office

(213) 381-1515
Fax: (213) 465-4885
515 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 1250
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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