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Vranish v. Exxon Mobil Corp.

California Court of Appeal, Second District, Second Division

January 22, 2014

George VRANISH, Jr., et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants,
v.
EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION, Defendant and Respondent.

APPEAL from a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. Mark V. Mooney, Judge. Affirmed. (Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. BC450074).

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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COUNSEL

[166 Cal.Rptr.3d 846] Van Vleck Turner & Zaller and Brian F. Van Vleck, Los Angeles, for Plaintiffs and Appellants.

Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, Jeffrey A. Dinkin, Santa Barbara, John F. Cannon, Newport Beach, and Gannon E. Johnson, Oxnard, for Defendant and Respondent.

OPINION

ASHMANN-GERST, J.

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Labor Code section 514[1] provides, in relevant part: " Sections 510 and 511 do not apply to an employee covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement if the agreement expressly provides for wages, hours of work, and working conditions of the employees, and if the agreement provides premium wage rates for all overtime hours worked and a regular hourly rate of pay for those employees of not less than 30 percent more than the state minimum wage."

Plaintiffs George Vranish, Jr., and Steve Teague are employees of defendant Exxon Mobil Corporation (Exxon). They are represented by a labor organization and their employment is governed by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). At issue in this litigation is whether plaintiffs are owed monies for overtime hours worked. According to plaintiffs, the CBA does not provide for premium compensation for all " overtime hours worked" (§ 514), as the word " overtime" is defined by section 510. Thus, Exxon has not satisfied the requirements of section 514 and owes plaintiffs monies for overtime. According to Exxon, the CBA meets the requirements of section 514; because section 514 expressly provides that the daily overtime requirements of section 510 do not apply to employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement such as the one here, it owes plaintiffs nothing.

This appeal presents a legal question: Does Labor Code section 510's definition of " overtime" apply to employees covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement (§ 514)? Based upon the plain language of section 514,

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legislative history, an opinion from the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), and public policy, we conclude that section 510 does not apply to section 514. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's award of summary judgment to Exxon.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The Parties

Plaintiffs are Exxon employees. During their entire period of employment, plaintiffs have worked at Exxon's on-shore facility near Gaviota, California (the Santa Ynez unit).

Plaintiffs are represented by a labor organization. Since at least 1989, the Exxon Employees Federation-Western Division, also known as Federation of Santa Ynez Unit Exxon Employees (the Federation) [166 Cal.Rptr.3d 847] has been the exclusive bargaining representative for all production and maintenance employees at the Santa Ynez unit (the Covered Employees), including plaintiffs. Also since at least 1989, the CBA has been in effect between Exxon and the Federation pertaining to all Covered Employees, including plaintiffs.

Relevant Terms of the CBA

Consistent with the CBA, plaintiffs each worked a regularly scheduled workweek that required them to work more than eight hours in a 24-hour period. In accordance with the CBA and schedule, plaintiffs were each regularly scheduled to work seven ...


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