Gerard v. Orange Coast Mem. Medical CenterAnnotate this Case
Three health care workers sued their hospital employer in this putative class and private attorney general enforcement action for alleged Labor Code violations and related claims. In this appeal, the workers argued that a hospital policy illegally let health care employees waive their second meal periods on shifts longer than 12 hours. A statute requires two meal periods for shifts longer than 12 hours. But an order of the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) authorized employees in the health care industry to waive one of those two required meal periods on shifts longer than 8. The principal issue this case presented for the Court of Appeal's review centered on the validity of the IWC order. After review, the Court concluded the IWC order was partially invalid to the extent it authorized second meal break waivers on shifts longer than 12 hours. However, with one exception, the retroactive application of the Court's conclusion had to be litigated on remand. The Court also determined the court incorrectly granted summary judgment and denied class certification.