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|ABM Security Guards Win $89.7M Class Action Settlement|
- Friday, 13 July 2012 10:07
ABM Security Guards Win $89.7M Class Action Settlement
By Sarah Pierce
The ABM security guard settlement will resolve a 2005 class action lawsuit, entitled Augustus v. ABM Security Services, that alleges ABM security guards were denied off-duty rest breaks in violation of California law. ABM previously acknowledged that all of its security guards are required to remain on call during their breaks by keeping their cellphones and pagers on, which the court found to be illegal.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John S. Wiley awarded the security guards nearly $89.7 million in wages, interest and penalties, ruling: "Put simply, if you are on call, you are not on break. That has been the law for many years."
ABM had previously obtained an exemption from the government that legally allowed the guards to take on-duty breaks, but when the exemption came up for renewal, ABM did not renew the exemption.
ABM’s general counsel said in a statement that the company will appeal the ABM security guard settlement decision “because we firmly disagree with today’s ruling, its interpretation of California rest period law and California class certification standards. We contend that we provide our workers with rest breaks conforming to both the letter and spirit of the law.”
In approving the ABM security guard class action lawsuit settlement, Judge Wiley said the penalties for violating California’s labor law are “straightforward,” saying: “Substantively, California’s labor law gave advance notice of the penalties for depriving workers of rest breaks. Those penalties are straightforward and chastening. When the view is clear and the exposure chastening, the rational hiker steers clear of the edge of the cliff. ACCS broke the law and must pay according to that law. That is the rule of law and not a violation of due process.”
Lead counsel for the ABM security guards said in a statement: "We fought hard for seven years and are very grateful that the court agreed with what we have all along believed the law to be. ABM's conduct is the poster-child for how California businesses should not behave, and it's very satisfying to see a court finally hold them accountable."
Updated July 13th, 2012
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Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 11:09