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Murphy v. Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.

Supreme Court of California

April 16, 2007, Filed



 [***883]  [**287]   MORENO, J.—This case presents two issues: first, whether the “one [****4]  additional hour of pay” provided for in Labor Code section 226.7 constitutes a wage or premium pay subject to a three-year statute of limitations (Code Civ. Proc., § 338) or a penalty subject to a one-year statute of limitations (Code Civ. Proc., § 340); second, whether a trial court, conducting a de novo trial, can consider additional wage claims not presented in the administrative proceeding before the state Labor Commissioner. We conclude that the remedy provided in Labor Code section 226.7 constitutes a wage or premium pay and is governed by a three-year statute of limitations and that the trial  [*1100]  court properly considered the additional, but related, wage claims during the de novo trial. Accordingly, we reverse the contrary judgment of the Court of Appeal.

Facts and Procedural History

As noted by the Court of Appeal, “the controlling historical facts as established by the trial court [are] largely undisputed.”

 [***884]  Plaintiff John Paul Murphy worked as a store manager in a Kenneth Cole Productions (KCP) retail clothing store from June 2000 until June 19, 2002, during [****5]  which he was paid a weekly salary. The store was open from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. On a typical day, Murphy and another employee arrived around 8:30 or 9:00 a.m. to open the store. Between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., Murphy did nothing other than make sales, receive or transfer product, process markdowns and clean.

During a usual weekday afternoon, the second shift of either one or two people arrived at 1:00 p.m. The employee who had opened the store with Murphy would go to lunch, and Murphy and another employee would begin carrying merchandise into the stockroom while covering the sales floor. At some point, Murphy would go to the office to eat as he continued to work. By 2:00 p.m. he was either on the sales floor or working back in the stockroom. Murphy was scheduled to leave at 6:00 p.m., but he often would have customers on the sales floor, or would do some human resources paperwork.

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40 Cal. 4th 1094 *; 155 P.3d 284 **; 56 Cal. Rptr. 3d 880 ***; 2007 Cal. LEXIS 3596 ****; 2007 Daily Journal DAR 4981; 12 Wage & Hour Cas. 2d (BNA) 833; 2007 Cal. Daily Op. Service 3958; 154 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P60,391

JOHN PAUL MURPHY, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. KENNETH COLE PRODUCTIONS, INC., Defendant and Appellant.

Subsequent History: Motion to modify denied by Murphy (John Paul) v. Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc., 2007 Cal. LEXIS 4749 (Cal., May 9, 2007)

Prior History:  [****1]  Superior Court of San Francisco County, No. CGC-03-423260, Anne E. Bouliane. Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division One, Nos. A107219; A10834.

Murphy v. Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc., 134 Cal. App. 4th 728, 36 Cal. Rptr. 3d 418, 2005 Cal. App. LEXIS 1861 (Cal. App. 1st Dist., 2005)


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Business & Corporate Compliance, Wage & Hour Laws, Scope & Definitions, Overtime & Work Periods, Governments, Legislation, Statutory Remedies & Rights, Statute of Limitations, Time Limitations, Interpretation, Labor & Employment Law, Regular Rate, Administrative Law, Judicial Review, Standards of Review, Deference to Agency Statutory Interpretation, Administrative Proceedings, Enforcement Provisions, De Novo Standard of Review