Court grants class certification, denies scheduling order modification against home cleaning companies

By Gabriel Neves | Jan 24, 2019

SACRAMENTO — A group of Lodi and Fresno workers suing cleaning service companies over wage issues was granted class-action status in court.

U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley, on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, issued a 15-page ruling on Jan 16, granting class certification and denying motion to modify the scheduling order in the class-action lawsuit filed by Angela Cruz, Maria Madrigal, Lourdes Baiz and Christie Goodman against MM 879, Barrett Business Services, The Servicemaster Company, Merry Maids and MM Maids.

The group of former employees sued the companies for issues regarding their compensation while at work.

"Plaintiffs allege several of Defendants’ wage and hour policies violated California law," contending that "Defendants used a 'percentage pay' scheme which compensated employees on the basis of houses cleaned and failed to provide separate hourly compensation for rest periods and nonproductive time."

The plaintiffs also accuse the companies of using "an illegal averaging method to determine whether employees received minimum wage," and that "wage statements did not properly itemize percentage pay as piece rate compensation."

Additionally, "meal period policy incorrectly instructed employees to take their meal periods in the middle of the workday, as opposed to no later than after their fifth hour of work," the court ruling said.

Cruz, Madrigal, Baiz and Goodman claimed failure to pay minimum wages for all hours worked, failure to pay overtime, failure to authorize and permit rest periods, failure to provide compliant meal periods, failure to issue accurate wage statements, failure to timely pay wages due at termination, and violations of the California Private Attorney’s General Act as their claims to initiate the class action.

In his ruling, Judge Nunley certified the case for class action and denied a modification on the order schedule, stating that "the instant order resolves the motion for class certification," dismissing the motion as moot.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California Case number 1:15-cv-01563-TLN-EPG

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