Last Thursday, the Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division One) published an opinion primarily addressing California's rest break laws, but also touching on class certification. Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., ___ Cal.App.4th ___ (Dec. 31, 2014; pub. ord. Jan. 29, 2015).
In Augustus, the Court of Appeal reversed summary judgment in the plaintiffs' favor on the rest break claim, but affirmed the order granting class certification of the claim. Slip op. at 17-19. The latter part of the opinion follows Brinker's holding that cases challenging the legality of a uniform policy are properly certified for class treatment, even if the policy may have been applied in a non-uniform manner:
From [defendant]’s concession and [the manager]’s testimony the trial court could reasonably conclude ABM possessed a uniform policy of requiring its security guards to remain on call during their rest breaks. Indeed, ABM never denied this policy below. Whether such a policy is permissible is an issue “eminently suited for class treatment.” (Brinker, supra, 53 Cal.4th at p. 1033.)
ABM cites to substantial evidence indicating the policy was not uniformly applied, but such evidence would go only to the issue of damages. The trial court could reasonably conclude the necessity of individual proof of damages would not destroy the community of interest. (Faulkinbury v. Boyd & Associates, Inc., supra, 216 Cal.App.4th at p. 237.)