Certification of meal break sub-class is OK in security guards case

Common questions of law and fact predominate. A federal district court certified a sub-class of security guards claiming that they were denied the work-free meal breaks required by California statute. And the 9th Circuit affirmed, finding no abuse of discretion.

Abdullah v. U.S. Security Associates (9th Cir 09/27/2013).

The 9th Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by certifying a meal break sub-class, defined as all past and present employees who worked more than six hours and were not provided a meal break and who were not compensated for the meal break. The court held that under California law the plaintiffs’ claims will yield a common answer that is “apt to drive the resolution of the litigation,” as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(2).

The court also held that common issues of law or fact would predominate, and plaintiffs’ claims “will prevail or fail in unison,” as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3).