Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 12:58 PM

No Longer Super Sized, Federal Judge Shrinks Potential FLSA Claims against McDonald's

Posted by Kim Licata
McDonald's Corp. has successfully put a plaintiff's FLSA suit against it on a diet with two court victories in the past couple of days. First, a federal judge granted McDonald's motion to deny certification in Kimoto v. McDonald's Corp., 2:06-cv-03032 in the U.S.D.C. for the Central District of California. Next, further persuaded by McDonald's arguments, the judge granted partial summary judgment on some of the claims of the plaintiff.

With respect to class certification, the judge noted in his ruling the discretionary nature of certification and cited numerous ways in which plaintiff failed to meet the standards required by Rule 23, not the least of which was the plaintiff's failure to move for certification at "an early practicable time." Once again, the Brinker decision was persuasive and a "good indication of how the California Supreme Court" would rule against class certification in this case. The judge rejects plaintiff's attempts to redefine the class to include only those employees like herself who had to take late breaks and otherwise.

In terms of partial summary judgment, the judge eliminated plaintiff's argument that McDonald's didn't comply with the record-keeping requirements, but allowed the plaintiff's assertions that McDonald's refused to give her a break during her first four hours of work and forced her to group her remaining breaks until the end of the day. Likewise, the judge allowed the plaintiff's assertions that McDonald's failed to provide accurate wage statements, denied her a meal period during her shift, and did not pay proper overtime. So while partial summary judgment was granted in favor of McDonald's, this restaurant giant still has to defend itself against some serious allegations raised by Ms. Kimoto. At least the defense of these allegations will not be in a class action lawsuit.

For the ruling denying class certification, in Kimoto, click here.

For the ruling granting partial summary judgment in Kimoto, click here.

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