On October 19, 2010, Judge William F. Highberger of the Los Angeles Superior Court granted motions for class certification in the cases of Duran et al. v. California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and Tarkington et al. v. California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, Nos. BS100719 and BS 107174. The two cases seek to overturn the CUIAB’s denial of unemployment insurance claims filed by thousands of grocery workers who were locked out by Ralphs Grocery Company and Albertsons, Inc. during the 2003-2004 Southern California grocery labor dispute.
The cases were brought by grocery workers on behalf of thousands of their coworkers and challenge the CUIAB’s decision denying benefits under the so-called “trade dispute” exception of the Unemployment Insurance Code. The Court agreed that these cases present factual and legal issues regarding the grocery employers’ lockout that are common to thousands of grocery workers, justifying treatment of the claims on a class-wide basis. It is thought that approximately 9,000 current and former grocery workers are included in the classes. Beth A. Ross and Jacob F. Rukeyser are representing the workers in these cases.