Status Report on the Walking Time Cases:
CCSO attorney Gary Goyette reports that on July 7, 2020, the attorneys on both sides attended a Case Management Conference before Judge Andrew Cheng, the new judge assigned to our case. After the Conference, Judge Chang ordered the following:
- Deposition Testimony from Selected Sgts & Lts: By July 21, 2020, both sides shall agree on a representative set of prisons (6 to 12) from which selected Sgts and Lts will be deposed. The idea is for both sides to agree on ‘typical prisons’ which are representative of other prisons, so that a Sgt and a Lt. from each of these prisons can be selected and be deposed. If both sides can agree on the representative prisons, and on the Sgts and Lts to be deposed, then the depositions should be completed by December 1, 2020. We have contacted and are preparing Sgt. and Lt. candidates to provide deposition testimony. The depositions will occur via video.
- Time Study: Due to the COVID-19 outbreaks in the prisons, no “time and motion” study of the amount of time spent on pre and post shift tasks has yet occurred, and it is unknown when we will have access to the prisons to begin these measurements.
- CDCR/CalHR’s motion to ‘decertify’ the class: The attorneys for CDCR/CalHR have informed the Court that they plan to seek to ‘decertify’ our class, based on their belief that the pre and post shift tasks are too individualized at each prison and each post. CDCR/CalHR also plans to argue that some of the tasks involve minimal time (are ‘de minimis’) and can be ignored. We contend that the compensable pre and post shift tasks at issue in the case are the same at each prison, and the time spent on the tasks is not minimal. The Judge set the deadline for CDCR/CalHR to file this motion as January 29, 2020. However, because we will be entitled to conduct a time and motion study to refute the State’s de minimis argument, the motion will likely be delayed unless we can access the prisons to conduct our study.
- Mini-Trial to decide which pre and post shift tasks are compensable: We have asked the Court to hold a ‘mini-trial’ before the Judge to decide which of the pre and post shift tasks are compensable. The Judge decided, for now, that CDCR/CalHR’s motion to decertify the class should happen first, but he will reconsider this issue at the next Case Management Conference in December, particularly if the COVID crisis continues to delay our time study.
- Mediation: While the attorneys for CDCR/CalHR contend it is too soon to go to mediation, the Judge has ordered both sides to mutually select a mediator by September 1, 2020, and to hold the first round of mediation by October 31, 2020.
We will provide further status reports as the litigation continues. To the extent this status report is shared with or among Sgt & Lt. class members, DO NOT USE CDCR work emails; only personal email addresses should be used.