Dear Class Members:
The following is a report from Class Counsel, the lawyers who represent the Class of Virgin America flight attendants, in Bernstein et al. v. Virgin America, Inc..
The case is presently pending in the federal district court before Judge Jon S. Tigar. Plaintiffs have prevailed on their claims for overtime, wage statement violations, meal and rest period violations, waiting time penalties, and the failure to pay flight attendants in a timely manner as required by California law.
The district court has been directed by the appellate court to revise the judgment in accordance with the opinion that the appellate court issued last summer. Accordingly, plaintiffs have moved to amend the judgment. Alaska Airlines have made several arguments in opposition.
The district court will hear the motion on August 18, 2022, and will then decide what the total judgment will be. Plaintiffs have asked the court to enter a judgment that is approximately $42 million. Virgin is opposing Plaintiffs’ motion, but agrees that it must pay the Class for the overtime violations.
Alaska Airlines continues to state that it cannot comply with any obligation to provide meal and rest periods in flight. To be clear, the ruling in the case was limited: it found Virgin America (and Alaska ONLY as a successor-in-interest to Virgin America) liable for meal and rest periods only for flights within California and only for the time period of March 18, 2011–December 15, 2017.
On March 18, 2015, Kosinski and Thiagaraj, LLP, along with its co-counsel Monique Olivier (Olivier Schreiber & Chao LLP), filed a class action lawsuit against Virgin America seeking unpaid minimum and overtime wages. The lawsuit is brought on behalf of all Virgin America flight attendants who were employed by Virgin America since 2011. The case is Bernstein et. al. v. Virgin America, Inc. (Case No. 15-CV-02277-JST).
The lawsuit, which was brought by two former and one current Virgin America flight attendants, alleges that Virgin America is violating California labor laws by not paying flight attendants for all hours worked (as opposed to just hours in flight), not paying overtime, not providing meal and rest breaks, and not providing accurate wage statements.
In November 2016, the Court ordered that the class could proceed as a class action. Click here to read a copy of that order.
Court-approved notice of this lawsuit was sent to Class members in April 2017 to explain the lawsuit and their rights. More information about this notice is available here.
In July 2018, the Court issued a series of findings that Virgin America did in fact fail to pay its flight attendants for thousands of hours worked. The Court then awarded the class of flight attendants a total judgment of over $77 million for these violations. Click here to read a copy of the Court's order. Enforcement of this judgment has been stayed while Virgin appeals this case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Kosinski and Thiagaraj, LLP, along with its co-counsel The Liu Law Firm and Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLP, filed a class action against Bannerman Security and several of its high-level executives. The lawsuit alleges that the technology company misclassified its security guards as independent contractors and denied its workers numerous benefits under state and federal law, including overtime. Learn more about the lawsuit here.
Your employer is prohibited from retaliating against you for asserting your rights, including for helping with this lawsuit. If you believe that you are being retaliated against, please contact us as well.