Another Nail in the Coffin of Full Employment in California Claims Norman Blumenthal After Federal Judge Denies Employees’ Motion to Proceed As a Class

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On June 24, 2013, Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the United States District Court for The Southern District of California denied Plaintiff’s bid for class certification regarding Registered Dieticians claims that Renal Advantage had misclassified their job titles as exempt from overtime.

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With these laws strictly enforced by our courts, hiring will rise in California

Judge Gonzalo Curiel denied Plaintiff’s motion for class certification in a class action lawsuit alleging that the company Renal Advantage, Inc. (“Renal”) misclassified their Registered Dieticians as exempt from California overtime law. See Rosenberg, et al. v. Renal Advantage, Inc., Case No. 2:11-cv-2152-GPC-KSC. The Court’s opinion can be read here.

The San Diego employment lawyers at Blumenthal Nordrehaug and Bhowmik originally filed the purported class action complaint on behalf of the Registered Dieticians in August of 2011 alleging that the rigid framework required by law within which the Registered Dieticians are required to work under did not allow these employees to exercise the independent discretion and judgment that is needed to qualify them as exempt professional employees under the California Labor Code.

In the opinion of Norman Blumenthal, the attorney representing the Registered Dieticians in the case, rather than allowing this common question to be decided by a jury, the Court sua sponte decided that the law had a loophole that consumed the rule. In doing so, the Court ignored the decision of the California Supreme Court in Ramirez v. Yosemite, (1999) 20 Cal. 4th 785 that requires any exemption to workers’ right to overtime pay under California law be narrowly construed in order to promote full employment by strict enforcement of California's overtime laws as Mr. Blumenthal has previously argued in a recent LA Daily Journal Article. Norman Blumenthal stated, “this is just another example of a corporate activist on our court deciding a question of fact in favor of the employer when the law requires just the opposite.”

Norman B. Blumenthal, the founding partner of Blumenthal Nordrehaug & Bhowmik the firm representing the Registered Dieticians in the case, noted, “California’s current pro-employee wage-and-hour laws are the reason California leads the nation in this current economic recovery. These laws were enacted in the 1930s in the wake of the Great Depression to stimulate hiring of more employees by the creation of the 8-hour work day and 40-hour work week. Our legislature understood then, and understands now, that the economy will be much more robust where an employer is encouraged by the overtime laws to hire five employees to work 40 hours a week rather than four employees working 50 hours plus a week. With these laws strictly enforced by our courts, hiring will rise in California. Without these laws being vigorously enforced by our courts, we will return to lower wages for more hours work as corporations will have no fear of enforcement by our courts of California’s wage-and-hour laws.”

Blumenthal Nordrehaug & Bhowmik has recovered over 1.3 billion in awards for their clients. If you are looking for an employment lawyer in San Diego, Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik can help you effectively fight back against your current or former employer’s illegal practices. Take action now and contact their labor lawyers today for free legal advice regarding your rights at work by calling (800) 568-8020.

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