Monday, December 3, 2007, 3:59 PM

Home Depot Assistant Managers May Not Bring Class Action

Hundreds of merchandising assistant store managers working at Home Depot stores
in California may not proceed as a class action with their claims that they were denied overtime pay in violation of state law, the California Court of Appeal rules (In re Home Depot Overtime Cases, Cal. Ct. App., No. E040215, unpublished opinion 11/21/07).

In affirming the Riverside County Superior Court's denial of class certification, the appeals court holds that the lower court did not abuse its discretion in determining that individual questions of fact predominate over common issues, making a class action inappropriate. The appeals court says a class would have included between 1,400 and 2,700 MASMs.

Home Depot has to show, among other things, that the MASMs spend more than half their work time on managerial duties to prove its affirmative defense that they are exempt from overtime pay as executives. The lower court found that circumstances, such as the number of employees and departments supervised by each MASM, vary considerably among stores. (230 DLR A-7, 2007)

Note: must have WestLaw account.

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