Alliance HealthCare Loses Bid To Toss Overtime
October 6, 2010
by Jocelyn Allison
Law360, New York (October 04, 2010) -- Alliance
HealthCare Services Inc. has lost a bid to toss a proposed class action
accusing the provider of diagnostic imaging services of failing to provide meal
and rest breaks and failing to pay proper overtime wages.
Judge Cormac J. Carney of the U.S. District Court for
the Central District of California denied the defendant's motion to dismiss
Thursday, rejecting its argument that the complaint didn't have sufficient
facts to support the claims.
The judge said plaintiff Shane Studley had added
details to the complaint about how the job duties of the proposed class
members, when combined with Alliance's scheduling practices, "inhibited their
ability to enjoy full meal and rest periods."
The amended complaint, filed June 22, also fleshed out
Studley's claims that the company regularly required employees to transmit
their procedure logs after clocking out for the day, the judge said.
"Alliance argues that there can be no recovery for
alleged damages prior to February 2009, which is when Alliance allegedly
memorialized this policy in a written directive," Judge Carney wrote. "This
argument fails, however, because Mr. Studley alleges that (1) he was
'explicitly directed' to comply with this policy beginning in January 2007, and
(2) this policy deprived him of wages he was legally entitled to."
Studley, a former Alliance technologist in California,
also supplemented his allegations that the company "systematically applied
erroneous formulas" when calculating regular rates, and as a result failed to
pay proper overtime rates, the order said.
Studley also accused Alliance of violating
California's unfair competition law, gaining an advantage over competitors by
failing to compensate its employees properly, a claim that the company argued
Judge Carney took no position on the dispute over
whether the unfair competition claim was time-barred, saying the matter was
better resolved on summary judgment, according to the order.
He also withheld judgment on the parties' disagreement
regarding whether the plaintiff had exhausted his administrative remedies under
the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act, saying it, too, was
better suited for summary judgment.
First filed in California Superior Court in December
2009, the complaint was removed to federal court in January. The court
dismissed the complaint June 2, but gave the plaintiff an opportunity to
re-plead his claims.
The case alleges Alliance has continued to violate
wage and hour laws after settling a similar class action brought on behalf of
technologists in Jones v. Alliance Imaging in Alameda County Superior Court.
Alliance settled that case for $2.5 million without
admitting fault in 2007. Studley claims Alliance has continued to allow
employees to work off the clock and skip meal and rest breaks since reaching
An attorney for Alliance and an attorney for the
plaintiff could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
Alliance HealthCare is represented by Matthew C. Kane,
Sabrina A. Beldner and Sylvia J. Kim of McGuireWoods LLP.
The plaintiff is represented by Shaun Setareh of the
Law Office of Shaun Setareh, David Spivak of the Spivak Law Firm and Louis
Benowitz of the Law Office of Louis Benowitz.
The case is Shane Studley v. Alliance HealthCare
Services Inc., case number 10-cv-00067, in the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California.
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