Class certification victory for newspaper workers in CA

A federal court in California recently decided in Wang v. Chinese Daily News, Inc. that former employees of a newspaper in Southern California can proceed with a class action lawsuit for state wage and hour claims under Rule 23(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  The ruling is significant for workers because the court found that class certification was appropriate on all issues, even in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s holdings arguably making class certification more difficult in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes—a case filed in 2001 as a class action claiming pay and promotion discrimination affecting the company’s female employees nationwide.   

The Wang v. Chinese Daily News case is a decade-old lawsuit in which the employees previously won a $5.1 million judgment, but the case was then appealed.  Now, certifying the class of nearly 200 former employees of Chinese Daily News Inc. in Monterey Park, Calif., the court said that a class action is the best way to try the case because the named plaintiffs identified common issues of law and fact and showed that common issues prevail over individual questions.

The employees claimed their employer routinely required them to work more than 40 hours per week without paying overtime, denied rest and meal breaks, improperly compensated for unused vacation pay, miscalculated their regular wage rate, and issued inaccurate wage statements

The workers are now able to pursue these claims as a group. 

Contact your labor law counsel with questions regarding wage and hour law. 

By Lisl Duncan | April 29, 2014

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