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Another employee of the same defendant employer is not entitled to intervene as of right in a PAGA suit brought by a different employee of that employer in order to challenge the settlement to which the latter employee and the employer have agreed.  To intervene as of right under FRCivP 24(a)(2), a party must show (among other things) that his… Read More

The FAA does not preempt California law insofar as it invalidates a waiver of an employee's right to bring PAGA claims arising out of Labor Code violations that affected the plaintiff employee.  However, the FAA does preempt California law (Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348 and progeny) insofar as it precludes waiver of the employee's… Read More

The common law rule of exclusive concurrent jurisdiction applies to PAGA suits.  Nothing in the PAGA statutes clearly or unequivocally evince an intent to abrogate that well-established rule in PAGA suits.  Absence of an express first-filed suit requirement in the statute is insufficient to show such an intent.  Invoking the exclusive concurrent jurisdiction rule, the trial court properly stayed this… Read More

Plaintiff employee's initial complaint sought individual and class relief for Labor Code violations as well as PAGA claims for statutory penalties for the same violations.  After defendant employer moved to compel arbitration, plaintiff amended the complaint to delete the individual and class claims, leaving only the PAGA claims.  This decision holds that the amendment was effective to avoid arbitration.  Under… Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that neither party prevailed or was entitled to an attorney fee award under the Davis-Stirling Act (Civ. Code 5975(e)) or the private attorney general statute (CCP 1021.5) in this suit by a condo owner against the condo association.  Although plaintiff obtained a preliminary injunction and prevailed in forcing the condo… Read More

Disagreeing with Wesson v. Staples The Office Superstore, LLC (2021) 68 Cal.App.5th 746, this decision holds that a court may not dismiss PAGA claims on the ground they are unmanageable.  However, it may control the trial by limiting the amount of proof the plaintiff may introduce--thus, potentially reducing the amount of collectible PAGA penalties, but not dismissing the action altogether. Read More

Before filing a PAGA suit, a plaintiff must send a pre-suit notice to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the employer describing the facts and theories to support the alleged violation. Lab. Code 2699.3.  This decision holds that at least when the notice reveals a violation that is likely to have affected more workers than the individual prospective plaintiff… Read More

Labor Code sections 558 and 1197.1, allow the Labor Commissioner to sue for set civil penalties in addition to an amount sufficient to recover underpaid wages if an employer fails to pay overtime wages or minimum wages as required by California law.  This decision holds that in a PAGA suit, the employee plaintiff may recover only the set civil penalty… Read More

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