Martin Bern and Malcolm Heinicke Obtain Key Wage and Hour Ruling Reversing Administrative Guidance

Munger, Tolles & Olson partners Martin Bern and Malcolm Heinicke obtained a key ruling on summary judgment from U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton in a wage and hour suit in defense of employer Guardsmark, LLC. The federal court ruling, handed down on March 18, 2008, reverses a current Division of Labor Standards Enforcement guideline. Mr. Bern explained that “California’s Wage Orders permit employers and employees to enter into agreements pursuant to which meal periods are taken on-duty under certain circumstances. This ruling confirms the common sense notion that pursuant to valid on-duty meal period agreements, employees may take more than one on-duty meal period in a single work day consistent with California law.” Guardsmark, headquartered in New York City, is one of the world’s premier security services firms with 19,000 employees.

Mr. Bern is a partner in the San Francisco office of Munger Tolles. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, consumer class actions and employment litigation. 

Mr. Heinicke is a partner in the San Francisco office of Munger Tolles. His practice focuses on labor and employment litigation and counseling as well as complex commercial litigation. Much of his litigation practice focuses on wage/hour, discrimination and consumer class actions.  In addition, Mr. Heinicke works on collective bargaining negotiations and disputes.