– Core Claims of FLSA Violations and Breach of Contract to Proceed to Next Phase –
IRVINE, Calif.–LAWFUEL – The Law News Wire – Jackson|DeMarco|Tidus|Petersen|Peckenpaugh (“J|D|T|P|P”) announced that on May 15, 2007, in the case of Abbe, et al. v. the City of San Diego, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California issued an Order regarding the Defendant’s motion to dismiss. The trial judge, the Honorable Dana M. Sabraw, found the allegations in support of the police officers’ core claims – that the City willfully and repeatedly violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, that the City should pay penalties for failure to take timely remedial action, and that the City breached its contract with the police officers – were sufficient to proceed to trial. Judge Sabraw asked that an additional claim of FLSA violations relating to compensatory time off be restated and re-filed, which J|D|T|P|P will do in a timely manner as allowed. Within the Order, Judge Sabraw also dismissed some secondary Constitutional and state labor law claims.
Gregory G. Petersen, Chair of the Complex Litigation Group at J|D|T|P|P, stated, “This case is about three major issues – (1) violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, (2) the City’s failure to acknowledge these violations and failure to take timely remedial action, and (3) a consistent pattern of breaching the contractual obligations to these police officers as set forth in the City’s written employment agreement. The Court has determined that these core claims are viable.” Mr. Petersen continued, “The City Attorney’s frequent and misleading statements in press releases and as a talk show guest stand in stark contrast to the actual Court rulings. His insistence that the City will see this through trial in late-2008 will only result in significant additional legal costs to the City. Additionally, Mr. Aguirre’s self-promoting comments in his most recent press release to the effect that the Court’s ruling ‘saved’ the City over $8 million, in his calculations, only serve to mislead the public. In fact, the claims that were dismissed only represented a small fraction of the potential liability for the core FLSA and breach of contract claims for unpaid wages, penalties and interest, which could exceed $100 million. Rather than trying to further inflate his public persona, Mr. Aguirre would be well advised to encourage the City to implement corrective measures that would stop the steady accumulation of additional claims, penalties and interest against the City. That would amount to a true cost savings for the City.”
Christopher Nissen, Senior Associate Attorney for J|D|T|P|P, commented, “The claims that were dismissed were included as alternate remedies, in addition to the FLSA and breach of contract claims, and were designed to expand on the areas of law that may have given rise to additional relief. These claims were designed to test their viability in a vague and undeveloped area of employment law. The Court recognized these were areas of first impression and ruled accordingly. Having had the opportunity to review the Order, we understand and respect the Court’s decision.”
The law firm of Jackson|DeMarco|Tidus|Petersen|Peckenpaugh, headquartered in Irvine, California, with a second office in Westlake Village, is recognized as a preeminent California full service law firm, offering high quality, innovative, responsive and cost-effective solutions to meet client needs. J|D|T|P|P provides practical advice and representation in a wide range of legal practice areas, encompassing business and tax law, employment law, intellectual property, common interest subdivision, land use and environmental regulation, real estate, construction law, commercial leases, financing, immigration and represents clients in key industries, such as technology, life sciences, software development, electronics, agriculture, energy and oil, financial and banking, manufacturing, distribution, real estate, and hospitality. More information on Jackson|DeMarco|Tidus|Petersen|Peckenpaugh can be found at www.jdtplaw.com.