Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Salazar v. McDonald's Corp. (9th Cir. - Oct. 1, 2019)

I feel gently compelled to talk about today's opinion from the Ninth Circuit.  Not because it's the most important opinion in the universe (which it isn't).  Nor because it's the first opinion published by the Ninth Circuit in October (which it is).

Rather, I mention it because it's the first opinion published by the Ninth Circuit in a while. No opinions published last Wednesday.  Or last Thursday.  Or Friday.  Or Saturday or Sunday (obviously).  Or Monday.  Today, finally, after a week-long break, we get a single published opinion.

Better than nothing, I guess.

Meanwhile, in the last three business days alone, the Ninth Circuit has issued 108 unpublished opinions.  Which tells you a lot about how the majority of Ninth Circuit appeals get adjudicated.

Today's opinion is at least important for anyone who wore a McDonald's uniform in California in the last several years.  The Ninth Circuit upholds the entry of summary judgment in favor of McDonald's in a wage and hour class action, holding that McDonald's itself (as opposed to the relevant franchise) isn't the "employer" of the employees.  Chief Judge Thomas dissents, but since the majority opinion is by Judge Graber (joined by Judge Kleinfeld), I don't think you're going to get en banc review, nor will the Supreme Court be interested.  So that's the practical end of this case.  Notwithstanding all the amici interest in this case (on both sides).