Rankin v. Longs Drug Stores Corp.

Plaintiff Adam Rankin, an applicant for employment at Longs Drug Stores California, Inc. alleged that Longs violated Labor Code Section 432.8 because a question on its application about past criminal convictions did not exclude certain misdemeanor marijuana-related criminal convictions that are more than two years old.

The Court certified a class defined as individuals who submitted an application for employment in California to Longs between October 13, 2003 and September 5, 2005, and the application included the following question: “Have you been convicted during the last seven years of a felony, a crime concerning use or possession of illegal drugs, or any misdemeanor which resulted in imprisonment?” The class consists of over 77,000 applicants.

The trial took place in San Diego Superior Court on August 20-22, 2007 in Department 75. The trial court ruled that the case should be dismissed in favor of Longs because a federal law that was passed after this case was filed and after the close of the class period meant Section 432.8 could not be enforced (or had been “abated” by the federal law).  Plaintiffs appealed, but the Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s judgment.

The law firms of Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho, Bohm, Matsen, Kegel & Aguilera, LLP , and the Law Office of Terry J. Chapko served as Class Counsel.

Case Documents