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CAFA Law Blog Information, cases and insights regarding the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005

CAFA Key In Removing And Retaining Case In Federal Court

Posted in Case Summaries

Adoma v. University of Phoenix, Inc., No. CIV. S-10-0059 LKK/G, 2010 WL 4054109 (E.D. Cal. Oct 15, 2010).

Just think of this case as the CAFA version of the movie Horrible Bosses, without Jennifer Aniston, of course. 

Here, the plaintiffs, who worked as Enrollment Counselors for University of Phoenix and its parent company–Apollo Group, Inc., brought an action under the FLSA and California Labor Code alleging that the defendants failed to pay employees proper overtime compensation, failed to allow employees to take breaks, paid employees with out-of-state checks, failed to furnish employees with itemized wage statements, and retaliated against the plaintiff for complaining of these alleged violations.

On August 13, 2010, the District Court declined to exercise jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s FLSA claims under the first-to-file rule, and transferred the FLSA claims to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania where a complaint involving the same plaintiffs and issues had already been filed (Sabol v. The University of Phoenix, No. CV 09-03439-JCJ (E.D. Pa.)), and where a nationwide collective action was certified.  

Because the order transferring the FLSA claims to the Sabol court disposed of all federal claims and the complaint only asserted supplemental jurisdiction as a basis for jurisdiction over state law claims, the Court ordered supplemental briefing regarding subject matter jurisdiction. 

After briefing, the Court concluded that it had jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ state law claims under CAFA, 28 U.S.C. §1332(d), because the amount in controversy exceeded the jurisdictional amount required under CAFA and the named the plaintiffs were citizens of California while the defendants were citizens of Arizona. Therefore, the Court found that the exercise of supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ state law claims was proper under 28 U.S.C. §1367.

The, the Court certified the class concerning the plaintiffs’ state-law claims that: (1) they worked unpaid ‘off-the-clock’ overtime; (2) the defendants paid the wrong hourly rate for overtime; (3) defendants caused employees to miss meal periods; (4) defendants provided inaccurate pay stubs; and (5) plaintiffs were entitled to waiting-time penalties, and the Court approved the class notice to be sent to the putative class members.

  • http://www.legalfunding.com/ Dave

    This seems like a big civil case coming with one class action already being certified and more employees nationwide probably going through the same thing. I see more people who may now know of the certification will start coming to light. It could even expand if companies in the same field are suspected of the same treatment of their workers.