- Cinemark and Century Theatres have agreed to pay $2.9 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by approximately 6,000 current and former ushers and concession workers (Brown v. Cinemark USA, Inc., No. 3:13-CV-05669 (N.D. Calif. Feb. 6, 2019)).
- The plaintiffs claimed that Cinemark issued more than 66,000 wage statements containing incorrect overtime rates over a three-year period, which made it impossible for them to determine what the correct overtime rate should have been, or whether they had been paid correctly.
- Cinemark's maximum exposure was much higher but a settlement of approximately 23% (plus attorney fees and litigation costs) was deemed reasonable due to various defenses and discount factors.
Employers familiar with California's employee-friendly laws will not be surprised to learn that California's wage laws, including the pay stub rules, are voluminous and highly specific.
According to the state's Department of Industrial Relations, employees must — with a few exceptions — be given a detachable statement (or separate writing) showing the following required information every time they are paid, as required by Labor Code section 226(a): gross wages earned; total hours worked; the number of piece-rate units earned and any applicable piece rate if the employee is paid on a piece rate basis; all deductions; net wages earned; the inclusive dates of the period for which the employee is paid; the name of the employee and the last four digits of his or her social security number or an employee identification number other than a social security number; the name and address of the legal entity that is the employer; and all applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period, and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate.
Employees who suffer injury as a result of a "knowing and intentional failure" of an employer to comply with 226(a) are entitled to recover the greater of all actual damages or $50 for the initial pay period violation and $100 for each subsequent violation, up to a total of $4,000, as well as costs and attorney's fees.
Clearly, this can add up quickly for employers even if a class action is not involved. The state agency's FAQ document on paydays, pay periods, and final wages provides more information.