Claims that Regal Entertainment Group and Edwards Theaters violated labor laws by forcing employees to work for free through break periods has landed inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.
Though the labor law cases were originally filed in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles, the dispute now will be heard in the Santa Ana courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter.
Primary plaintiffs Martin Orejel and Kelley Mazzei claim that from at least 2008 to 2012 theater management understaffed theaters, required employees to work while clocked out in violation of laws and must pay overtime for the alleged cheating.
But lawyers for the defendants assert that the lawsuits are defective and inaccurate. They want the claims dismissed prior to a trial.
Carter will entertain the parties at a scheduled Oct. 21 hearing.
In April, Regal Entertainment–which has a $2.7 billion in annual revenue, is based in Knoxville and owns more than 7,300 movie screens nationwide–announced it laid off employees in response to the claimed upcoming burdens of Obamacare.