"Tip Pooling" class actions are the latest craze

Greatsealcal100Today, in Etheridge v. Reins International California, Inc., the California Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division Three) issued an opinion in a class action lawsuit about the practice of "tip pooling" common in restaurants and casinos.  That, by itself, might not even be interesting enough to write about here.  But it is news when it marks the third such opinion on the topic this yearLu v. Hawaiian Gardens Casino, Inc. (2009) 170 Cal.App.4th 466 began the trend, followed by Grodensky v. Artichoke Joe’s Casino (March 11, 2009) ___ Cal.App.4th ___.  Grodensky was exciting in that it created a split of authority as to whether Labor Code section 351 provides for a private right of action or serves merely as a predicate violation of law under the UCL.

This effectively sums up the dearth of good class action-related news in California this week.

UPDATE (3/30/09):  A reader has been kind enough to let me know that I missed the fourth such case this year, Budrow v. Dave & Buster's of California, Inc. (March 2, 2009) (Second Appellate District, Division Eight).  That same reader advised me that Petitions for Review have been or will be filed in several of these cases.