United States District Court, N.D. California
JOSEPH TIMBANG ANGELES, NOE LASTIMOSA, on behalf of themselves and on behalf of others similarly situated, and the general public, Plaintiffs,
US AIRWAYS, INC., and DOES 1 through 50, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
CHARLES R. BREYER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
four-plus years of litigation, Defendant U.S. Airways moves
for summary judgment using recycled arguments, while
Plaintiff class members (“Plaintiffs”) complain
about the use of recycled arguments. Regrettably, at least
one of those recycled arguments was correct-and
California, “two complementary and occasionally
overlapping sources of authority” govern wage-and-hour
claims: (1) provisions in the Labor Code enacted by the state
legislature, and (2) a series of wage orders enacted by the
Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”).
Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, 53
Cal.4th 1004, 1026 (2012). Wage Orders “are to be
accorded the same dignity as statutes, ” so to the
extent they overlap with a provision in the Labor Code,
courts must “seek to harmonize” the two.
Brinker, 53 Cal.4th at 1027. Both legal regimes
regulate wages, hours, and working conditions. Id.
And both exempt certain classes of employees from those
regulations. Collins v. Overnite Transp. Co., 105
Cal.App.4th 171, 177-80 (2003); see also, e.g., Cal.
Labor Code § 511 (employees with alternative work
weeks); id. § 554 (emergency, railway, and
agriculture employees); Wage Order 9-90 § 3(H)
these exempt classes are employees who signed a collective
bargaining agreement (“CBA”). Wage Order 9
section 1(E)-known as “the RLA Exemption”-exempts
employees who have entered into a CBA “in accordance
with the provisions of the Railway Labor Act.” By
definition, then, the RLA Exemption applies only to railway
and airline employees. See 45 U.S.C. §§
151, 181. Section 514 of the Labor Code exempts employees who
have entered into a CBA that “expressly provides for
the wages, hours of work, and working conditions of
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.” It applies across industries.
See Cal. Labor Code § 514.
Order 9 section 3(N) also exempts airline employees who work
“over 40 hours but not more than 60 hours in a workweek
due to a temporary modification in the employee's normal
work schedule not required by the employer but arranged at
the request of another employee, ” such as when
employees trade days off.
are former employees of Defendant U.S. Airways who worked as
Fleet Service Agents. Two CBAs governed their employment,
which the parties agree do not differ in any meaningful
respect for the purpose of summary judgment. See MSJ
at 2; MSJ Opp'n at 1. In their first cause of action,
Plaintiffs allege that U.S. Airways did not properly pay them
under Section 510 of the Labor Code for overtime hours worked
(1) after trading shifts with fellow employees, and (2) while
clocked-in during designated Grace Periods before and after
their scheduled shifts. See TAC ¶¶ 20, 25,
31-33, 51-53. Based in part on those claims, Plaintiffs also
bring claims for inaccurate wage statements (Third Cause of
Action), id. ¶¶ 63-66, waiting time
penalties (Fifth Cause of Action), id. ¶¶
74-79, violations of the Unfair Competition Law (Sixth Cause
of Action), id. ¶¶ 80-96, and violations
of the Private Attorneys General Act (Seventh Cause of
Action), id. ¶¶ 97-106.
comprehensive chronicle of this four-year litigation could
snuff out the soul of even wage-and-hour law's most avid
afficionado, so the Court focuses on the most relevant parts.
First Motion to Dismiss
relevant here, U.S. Airways moved to dismiss Plaintiffs'
overtime claims because the RLA Exemption “[e]xempts
U.S. Airways from [i]ts [o]vertime [p]rovisions.”
See FMTD (dkt. 6) at 5. That being so, U.S. Airways
argued that “Wage Order No. 9's overtime provision
does not apply.” Id. at 6. Because both
operative CBAs “were entered into in accordance with
the provisions of the” Railway Labor Act, as required
by the RLA Exemption, the Court agreed. Order on FMTD (dkt.
23) at 8; see also 45 U.S.C. §§ 151-65. It
thus granted the motion “insofar as the overtime
claim” was “premised on a violation of Wage Order
sprinkling of footnotes, U.S. Airways also added that
California Labor Code section 514 excused U.S. Airways from
complying with Section 510's overtime requirements.
See FMTD at 6 n.4; FMTD Reply (dkt. 21) at 3 n.1.
But because the CBAs did not meet all of Section 514's
requirements, the Court disagreed. Order on FMTD at 8-9.
Specifically, the CBAs failed to “provide premium wage
rates for all overtime hours worked.” Order on
FMTD at 8-9. So although ...