$15 Million Judgment Against U.S. Bank Reversed in Wage and Hour Class Action

On February 6, 2012, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District decertified a wage and hour class action lawsuit filed by business banking officers and overturned a $15 million judgment against U.S. Bank. This was in the recent case of Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, 2012 WL 366590 (Cal.App. 1 Dist.).

The Plaintiffs first filed their case in 2001, alleging that they were misclassified as "exempt" employees and denied compensation for overtime hours. U.S. Bank claimed that the business banking officers fit the exemption for "outside salespersons," because they spent more than half their working time away from the office selling financial services.

During trial, the Trial Court used a random sample of 21 class members to testify as representatives for a class consisting of 260 members, in the interest of expediency. The Trial Court refused to allow the bank to introduce evidence challenging the claims of the other 239 class members. The evidence the bank sought to introduce, if deemed persuasive, would have established that at least one-third of the class was properly classified as exempt.

The Court of Appeal held that the Trial Court's strategy of relying solely on the evidence derived from a 20-person sample to determine class-wide liability violated principles of due process, and deprived U.S. bank's constitutional right to a fair trial. While innovation and pragmatic procedural devices are encouraged to simplify and manage class actions, the rights of parties may not be sacrificed for the sake of expedience.

This case supports the premise that due process principles require individualized inquiries where the applicability of an exemption turns on the specific circumstances of each employee. The attorneys at Kring & Chung are available to answer any inquiries you may have relating to this new case, as well as discuss with you any wage and hour issues.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Premium Av Preeminent 5.0 out 5 Rating Peer Review Rated LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell Avvo Super Lawyers OC Metro Register

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Locations

Irvine Office
38 Corporate Park
Irvine, CA 92606

Phone: 949-345-1621
Fax: 949-261-8800
Irvine Law Office Map

Los Angeles Office
3435 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2700
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Phone: 949-345-1621
Phone: 213-232-1633
Map & Directions

Sacramento Office
2620 J Street #1
Sacramento, CA 95816

Phone: 949-345-1621
Phone: 916-266-9000
Fax: 916-266-9001
Map & Directions

San Diego Office
11682 El Camino Real, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92130

Phone: 949-345-1621
Phone: 858-436-0268
Fax: 858-436-0279
Map & Directions

Redding Office
1901 Court Street
Redding, CA 96001

Phone: 949-345-1621
Phone: 530-243-6000
Fax: 530-402-4752
Map & Directions

Las Vegas Office
1050 Indigo Dr., Suite 200
Las Vegas, NV 89145

Phone: 949-345-1621
Phone: 702-260-9500
Fax: 702-260-9434
Map & Directions