Brinker Restaurant Corporation, et al. v. Hohnbaum, et al. (July 22, 2008) dropped a bit of a bombshell in the busy field of wage & hour class actions, at least judging by the early and numerous reactions. The Complex Litigator noted the issuance of the opinion shortly after it was posted to the California Courts website. Other blogs and media outlets followed with commentary and analysis, some of it extensive. Defense-oriented firms proclaimed it a much-needed victory, while plaintiff-side commentators lamented the irrationality of the decision and the need for speedy review by the California Supreme Court. To keep up with the dialog, a round-up of coverage, in no particular order, is in order:
- Wage Law has two posts on the decision. The first post hits the highlights of the decision. The second post comments on the Governor's statement in support of the decision, noting that the fact of the Governor's comment, in and of itself, demonstrates that Supreme Court review is needed to "settle an important question of law."
- Storm's California Employment Law blog offers its own collection of comments from the blawgosphere and internet.
- California Workforce Resource Blog also has two posts on the Brinker. The first post is an extensive discussion of the decision, offered from the vantage point of a firm that represents employers. The second post provides a collection of comments about the decision.
- What's New In Employment Law offers a decidedly partisan cheer for the Brinker decision, but notes that it is premature to celebrate.
- The UCL Practitioner, one of the many counsel in Brinker, judiciously limits her comments to a refutation of quotes attributed to her about the decision in the Recorder. Importantly, Ms. Kralowec takes exception with the attributed statement that the decision "creates an appellate split that likely will ensure Supreme Court review." Ms. Kralowec notes that she would never be so presumptuous as to declare what the Supreme Court will, in the exercise of its discretion, decide to do about Brinker.
- California Labor And Employment Law Blog also offers two posts on Brinker. The first post describes the "favorable" outcome in Brinker. The second mentions the Governor's pro-Brinker statement.
- In its customarily business-like fashion, Class Action Defense Blog just explains Brinker in a detailed post.
- The Recorder article to which UCL Practitioner reacted can be found at Law.com.
- Market Watch declares that the Brinker decision "reverberates" through workplaces.
- The Sacramento Bee describes the decision as one backing "flexible" rules on meal breaks.
- And, finally, Brinker thinks that the case will just proceed back to the trial court with no further interruptions. Uh huh.
You can now mark your calendars. The Petition for Review should be on file anywhere between August 22nd and the end of August.