See’s Candy Shops, Inc. v. Superior Court, 2012 WL 5305729 (Cal. Ct. App. 2012)
Pamela Silva sued her former employer, See’s Candy, for various wage-and-hour violations. After certifying a class of current and former California employees, the trial court granted Silva’s motion for summary adjudication on four of See’s Candy’s affirmative defenses. In a writ petition to the Court of Appeal, See’s Candy challenged the dismissal of two of its affirmative defenses involving its policy of rounding employees’ time up or down to the nearest tenth of an hour. Although the Court of Appeal initially summarily denied the writ petition, the California Supreme Court granted the petition and ordered the appellate court to vacate its prior order and to issue an order to show cause in the matter. In this opinion, the Court ordered the trial court to vacate the summary adjudication order and to enter a new order denying summary adjudication. In so ruling, the Court held that the United States Department of Labor’s regulation as well as the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement’s rule permitting employers to use rounding policies is the appropriate standard even though there is no California statute or case law specifically authorizing or permitting this practice.