Sanchez v. MartinezAnnotate this Case
Five laborers filed suit against their former employer, Miguel Martinez, alleging violations of various labor laws. The Court of Appeal previously heard plaintiffs' claims; in its initial review, the Court considered plaintiffs’ appeal of a judgment that rejected all their claims against Martinez. Although the judgment was affirmed for the most part, the Court reversed to allow plaintiffs to proceed on two of their claims, one of which concerned Martinez’s failure to pay plaintiffs for rest periods, and another of which was derivative of their rest-period claim. As was explained, Martinez was obligated to pay his employees for the time they spent on authorized rest periods. However, the Court found nothing in the evidence to show he had ever paid his employees for this time. The case was thus remanded to allow the trial court to determine appropriate damages and penalties based on this failure. Following the remand, the parties raised various challenges to the trial court’s calculation of damages and penalties. Plaintiffs contended the trial court undervalued their damages and wrongly rejected several of their claims for penalties. Martinez, in turn, claimed that insufficient evidence supported the trial court’s calculation of damages and penalties. Because the Court of Appeal find none of the parties’ several claims warranted reversal, it affirmed the trial court’s decision.