More than 1,000 cell site workers acquire class action certification for alleged unpaid wages, including missed meal and rest break and overtime pay.

The Honorable Judge John Wiley, Jr., presiding over the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County, Department 311 certified the plaintiff class in Benton v. Telecom Network Specialists, Inc. (filed as Booker v. Tanintco, Inc., et. al., Case Number: BC349267 and related cases), stated on the record, “Given current law and the factual record now before the court, the motion is granted in all respects except as to the overtime claims of employees TNS hired directly.”

According to the Motion for Class Certification, workers claim TNS violated their employment rights by failing to provide proper rest breaks, meal breaks, and overtime compensation. The certification order alleges the workers performed installation, maintenance, and repairs on cell phone sites for TNS from August 2002 to the present. Court documents claim TNS employees were responsible for removing old equipment in cell towers and replacing it with new gear that allowed for increased speed and features for end users such as AT&T. Documents filed with the court allege most of TNS’s employees were hired by staffing agencies.

Court records claim the main issue is whether TNS violated wage and hour requirements by failing to provide meal and rest periods as required by California law. Current law, as alleged in the motion, requires that employers authorize and provide meal and rest breaks and if an employer does not comply, the employer is liable. Also at issue, as addressed in the motion, is whether TNS, as a co-employer of the class members, was required to affirmatively provide meal and rest breaks, and whether TNS was required to ensure that the class members were paid overtime in accordance with California law.

The court determined, in the certification order, that the class was ascertainable from TNS’s records. The court also found that the issues of whether TNS was a co-employer, whether it was required to provide breaks, whether it was required to ensure that class members were paid overtime, and the amount of damages were all issues for class-wide treatment. The court’s order appointed Aiman-Smith & Marcy as class counsel and appointed Lorenzo Benton and Curtis Walker as the class representatives.

The attorneys of record for the plaintiffs are Randall B. Aiman-Smith, Reed W.L. Marcy, Hallie Von Rock and Carey A. James of Aiman-Smith & Marcy.

Aiman-Smith & Marcy is a California employee and consumer rights law firm based in Oakland, California. The firm specializes in class action lawsuits on behalf of employees for unpaid wages and unreimbursed clothing expenses, class actions for consumer fraud, and individual actions for employment discrimination and wrongful termination. Contact the Aiman-Smith & Marcy legal team at 510-817-2711.

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