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The Importance of Admissions in the Judicial Process

On February 27, 2012, in Thurman v. Bayshore (Calfiornia Courts of Appeal – 4th District, No. D055586), the court found that a judicial admission regarding facts from a pleading should have been given full effect when determining penalties for missed meal periods.

The facts of Thurman revolved around a collective bargaining agreement in relation to bus drivers. After the second collective bargaining agreement was passed, drivers were either assigned “straight runs,” which meant that the driver would work without any breaks, or, “split shifts,” which allowed for a 30-minute unpaid meal break. One year after the second collective bargaining agreement went into effect; split runs were used for every route. Following this, the union, representing the bus drivers, instituted an employment law action alleging “violations of the Labor Code, which required meal and rest periods.”

The court found that because the plaintiff admitted that the defendants had been providing meal periods since the split runs were substituted on every run, it needed to be included when determining the amount of justifiable recovery. Judicial pleadings cannot be ignored, even where they may “elevate the pleading form over the facts as they emerged at trial.”

If your employer is wrongfully withholding meal breaks, or you have a wage or hour claim, please do not hesitate to contact a Southern California employment law attorney today.

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