San Francisco – April 26, 2013 – A federal court judge in San Francisco has conditionally certified a class action claim brought in June of 2012 on behalf of employees of Ghilotti Bros., Inc. (GBI), a San Rafael, California construction company. At the same time the court denied GBI’s motion to dismiss the case and granted plaintiffs’ motion to strike GBI’s affirmative defenses.
The court’s order is here: Ghilotti Order re Class Certification 042513
Univision 14, the San Francisco Bay Area’s local Spanish-language station covered the court’s action in a news story on April 26: Trabajadores de construcción logran victoria contra empresa
According to the company website, Ghilotti Bros., Inc. employs over 275 individuals working in 11 Bay Area counties and generating annual revenues in excess of $100 million per year.
The court’s order requires that GBI provide plaintiffs with contact information within ten days for all present and former GBI laborers who have driven a GBI truck since June 2009, so that they can join the court action. The driving laborers have 90 days to join the case.
The three named plaintiffs in the original complaint worked for GBI as non-exempt employees for from four to six years. The complaint alleges that “Plaintiffs, United States citizens of Mexican descent, work grueling days for Defendants, loading their trucks with heavy equipment, traveling to job sites throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, working hard at the construction job sites, and then returning the trucks and equipment to the loading area in clean and working condition. Yet Defendants, who publicly boast of beating their competitors’ lucrative construction bids, refuse to pay Plaintiffs for any of the hours that they work outside the official job site. Moreover, Defendants routinely deny lunch and rest breaks to these construction workers, reducing the safety of the job site.”
According to today’s court order, the class is comprised of “All present and former non-exempt employees of Defendant who have worked at a construction site, yard, or loading area as a laborer at any time from four years prior to the filing of this action, until the resolution of this action, whose work included the loading and unloading of Defendant’s trucks and the transport of necessary construction equipment to and from job sites prior to the start of their shifts and following the conclusion of their shifts.”
The case is Ramirez v. Ghilotti Bros., Inc., et. al., U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. C 12-04590 CRB
Contact: Gay Grunfeld, Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, 415-433-6830 and Elisa Stewart, Stewart & Musell LLP, 415-593-0083
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Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP has a unique practice blending public interest and private sector litigation. The firm represents individuals and companies in complex trial and appellate litigation in state & federal courts. More information at www.rbgg.com.
Stewart & Musell, LLP is a bicoastal law practice representing employees throughout California, Colorado, New York and New Jersey in civil rights cases including workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful and retaliatory discharge cases. Our attorneys also negotiate employment contracts as well as severance agreements for clients. www.stewartandmusell.com