Employees Win over $6,000,000 at Trial in Wage Claim
In 2023, Schuck Law attorneys Karen A. Moore, Stephanie J. Brown, and David A. Schuck, won liability and $6,000,000 in damages for over 900 class members. The case centered on whether employees were entitled to recover wages when their meal periods (lunches) were less than 30 minutes and yet were not paid. More
Employee Wins Right to Recover Attorney Fees After an Employee Rejected Offer of Judgment in Wage Claim
In 2020, the Schuck Law prevailed in getting the Supreme Court to agree that attorney fees in most wage claims are mandatory and cannot be avoided through offers of judgment. Employers, who hold all employment records, now cannot use a Rule of Civil Procedure (ORCP 54 E) to create a conflict between the employee and their attorney. Mathis v. St. Helens Auto Center, Inc., 367 Or 437 (2020) Mathis Case
Employees Reverse Trial Court Winning Right to Recover Wages for Short Meal Periods
In 2020, Schuck Law through attorneys Karen A. Moore, Stephanie J. Brown, Leslie E. Baze, Lisa Hunt, and David A. Schuck were able to prevail in setting the standard of when an employee is due wages for meal periods (lunches) in Oregon. Maza v. Waterford Operations, LLC, 300 Or App 471, 476 (2019) Rev Den 366 Or 382 (2020) More This seminal case reversed a trend started in federal courts that found if the employer simply offered a meal period, their obligations under Oregon law was met. The Court of Appeals disagreed finding that meal periods are for the employee’s protection, not employers.
Employee Reverses Trial Court & Court of Appeals Regarding Employer Offsets to Minimum Wage
In 2020, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals finding that employee prevails on his minimum wage claim where the employer failed to pay the wages on payday without deduction. Jones v. Four Corners Rod & Gun Club, 366 Or 100 (2020). Jones SC The employer had failed to pay employee minimum wages on payday and had instead been deducting all wages to pay rent. These deductions were unlawful and thus employee was not paid minimum wages.
Employees Were Entitled to Overtime Wages
In 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s ruling on overtime wages. The employer set up a creative wage and bonus structure that subtracted overtime wages from calculation of a mandatory bonus. The result was a payment plan that essentially paid the employee at the same hourly rate no matter how many hours the employee worked. The trial court said it was lawful because the bonus was irrelevant to the calculation of overtime. The Court reversed stating it was an unlawful payment practice that avoids payment of overtime wages. Brunozzi v. Cable Commc’ns, Inc., 851 F.3d 990 (9th Cir. 2017) Brunozzi
Employee Could Not be Retaliated Against For Wage Claim
In 2017, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s ruling on discrimination claim. Employee had complained that employer was not paying overtime wages. The trial court found that an internal complaint to manager was not sufficient to sustain a retaliation claim. The Ninth Circuit disagreed finding that complaining to ones boss meets the requirements of the statute. Brunozzi v. Cable Commc’ns, Inc., 851 F.3d 990 (9th Cir. 2017) Brunozzi
Employee Reverses Trial Court Finding that Employee was Allowed to File His Wage Claim Soon After Notice
In 2018, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court for failing to award mandatory attorney fees under Oregon’s wage and hour statutes. The trial court had found that the employee filed his wage claim too soon after providing the employer notice of that wage claim. This was a trend with multiple courts refusing to award the employee’s attorney fees. The Court of Appeals found that the employee provided appropriate notice and was entitled to have his attorney fees paid by the employer. Jones v. Four Corners Rod & Gun Club, 290 Or App 811 (2018) Revd on other grounds. Jones CoA
Employee Reverses Trial Court’s Denial of Attorney Fees Federal and State Wage Claim
The trial court found that employee did not send notice of his wage claim and was not entitled to her mandatory attorney fees. The Court of Appeals reversed finding that the trial court erred because it actually found that the employee sent the required notice. Further that the notice need only be sent “before” filing. Trent v. Connor Enterprises, Inc., 300 Or App 165 (2019). Trent I This ruling was extremely important to all employees. It set the standard for vesting the right to recover attorney fees. Avoiding employer attempts to leave employees stuck paying their own attorney fees.
Employee Reverses trial court a Second Time For Not Awarding her Attorney Fees Correctly on Wage Claim
On remand from appeal, the trial court found that it could not look at the evidence in the record to determine facts in awarding attorney fees. The Court of Appeals reversed finding that the prior ruling, already reversed once, conflicted with its ruling. Trent v. Connor Enterprises, Inc., 325 Or App 252 (2023) (nonprecedential) Trent 2
Employee Reverses Trial Court Allowing Case Minimum Wage and Deduction Claims to Proceed Despite Union Contract
Employee was a public worker subject to a collective bargaining agreement. Employer had failed to pay minimum wages on payday, and further unlawfully deducted wages from the employee. The employer relied upon the collective bargaining agreement to avoid the wage claim lawsuit. The Court of Appeals reversed finding that minimum wage law could not be amended by a union contract and further that the union contract did not allow the deductions. Krohn v. Hood River School District, 250 Or App 8 (2012) Krohn
Employee Reverses Trial Court Allowing Minimum Wage and Overtime Claim to Proceed
Employee’s overtime wage claim was dismissed because she amended her complaint to add a new employer because the employer had changed its name. The Court of Appeals found that the trial court acted inappropriately because the delay could not be attributed to the employer and the case should not have been dismissed. Lucht v. Mulino Hangar Café & Roadhouse, LLC, 273 Or App 571 (2015) Lucht