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California Unpaid Overtime Class Action Down, but Not Out

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Los Angeles, CAA California unpaid overtime lawsuit seeking class certification got “some good news for everybody, and some bad news for everybody,” when Superior Court Judge Ann I. Jones denied a petition to certify eight subclasses or workers at a well-known theme park, but left the door open to other subclasses with regard to various pay claims.

The overtime pay lawsuit – which also has underpinnings suggesting off-the-clock work – dates back to April 2013 when four, former workers of Six Flags Magic Mountain alleged pay and wage violations.

Plaintiffs Andrew Villegas, Jennifer Gilmore, Dustin Liggett and Hans Gundelfinger moved for class certification in 2016, only to amend their motion with respect to a rest break subclass.

That motion was denied by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Jones in February of this year.

Then, on October 4, Judge Jones issued her tentative decision to deny the certification of eight subclasses of workers, but would remain open to considering the certification of three subclasses comprised of a rounding subclass for employees whose hours were manually adjusted, and two regular rate subclasses for maintenance and seasonal employees, according to Law360 (10/04/17).

The four litigants, who put themselves forward as lead plaintiffs in the proposed California overtime pay laws class action, allege as part of their various claims via subclasses that Six Flags Magic Mountain paid overtime or premium pay based on the hourly rate, rather than the so-called ‘regular rate’ that took into account other forms of remuneration such as passes to the park, or reimbursements for tuition.

Plaintiffs claim that had overtime pay been calculated against the regular rate, they would have received a higher amount of overtime pay.

Two subclasses that were denied had a champion in the plaintiff’s attorney, who attempted to persuade Judge Jones to reconsider a ‘shaved time’ subclass for workers who were shorted in their pay packets, and a ‘walking time’ subclass for workers who were not compensated for their time heading to, and from designated break areas.

Judge Jones opined that while she was not concerned about the manageability of the subclasses, she did have some issues about arguments surrounding common proof.

The plaintiffs were employed by Six Flags Magic Mountain as ride mechanics, ride operators and game attendants between August 2005 and July 2012, according to the lawsuit.

The California unpaid overtime lawsuit is Andrew Villegas et al. v. Six Flags Entertainment Corp., Case No. BC505344, in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles.

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