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On meal and break pay, don’t expect a federal case

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Attorneys who represent workers on meal-and-break-pay claims like to keep those cases in state courts, which are usually better for em­­ployees than federal courts are.

Employers, on the other hand, usually prefer the federal court system, which tends to favor employers. How­­ever, getting a case moved to federal court isn’t as easy as it used to be.

Recent case: Bill and several co-workers sued for unpaid break-and-meal-time pay under California Labor Code provisions. Their employer argued it was a multimillion-dollar case and tried to get it transferred to federal court.

The federal judge hearing the re­quest refused. He reasoned that the employer’s numbers were highly speculative and that it was more likely each employee was owed less than $75,000—the jurisdictional limit for a state case. (Taylor v. Coxcom, No. 12-10149, CD CA, 2013)

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