The Arkansas Supreme Court
today reversed Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen's
certification of a class action by about 150 non-nursing employees of the Arkansas veterans homes over a wage-and-hour question.
The employees contended that they should be able to sue as a class because of an automatic 30-minute meal break not counted for wages, though they often had to work during that time period. The Supreme Court held that there were enough individual differences in the group of employees that the case didn't meet a class action standard. Here's the opinion.
The court was split, with Justices Paul Danielson, Courtney Goodson and Robin Wynne dissenting. Justice Rhonda Wood wrote a separate concurrence to the majority opinion written by Karen Baker. Wood said she wanted to note that she disagreed with a class action finding in a similar case by nursing employees against the Department of Veterans Affairs. The majority differentiated that case from this one. The dissenters said they saw no differences — both are on the question of "whether the automatic deduction policy of the ADVA isreasonable and whether ADVA has a reasonable reclamation policy for claiming overtime accrued as a result of missed meal breaks."