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This decision reverses a summary judgment in favor of the defendant employer against the plaintiff employee nurse who sued individually and under PAGA for violation of Labor Code sections on rest and meal breaks and payment of all wages due on termination.  The employer failed to meet its burden of proving plaintiff's claims were time barred.  While she may not… Read More

Following both Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (2022) 142 S.Ct. 1906 and Adolph v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (2023) 14 Cal.5th 1104, this decision holds that the plaintiff must arbitrate PAGA claims that arise from Labor Code violations that affected him, but may pursue in court PAGA claims that arise from Labor Code violations affecting only other employees, not himself. Read More

Following its prior decision in Moniz v. Adecco USA, Inc. (2021) 72 Cal.App.5th 56 and disagreeing with Turrietta v. Lyft, Inc. (2021) 69 Cal.App.5th 955. this decision explains that a PAGA plaintiff need not show a personal pecuniary interest to have a substantial interest at stake that suffices to support a motion for leave to intervene in an overlapping PAGA… Read More

A prior PAGA suit against the same employer did not have claim preclusive effect as to all potential PAGA suits against the employer, nor could the release in the judicially approved agreement settling the prior suit enforceably release all potential PAGA claims against the employer.  Instead, the prior plaintiff's authority to represent the state in suing under PAGA was governed… Read More

When a plaintiff has brought a PAGA action comprising individual (i.e., violations affecting the plaintiffs) and non-individual (violations affecting only other employees) claims, an order compelling arbitration of the individual claims does not strip the plaintiff of standing as an aggrieved employee to litigate the non-individual claims on behalf of other employees under PAGA. Read More

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in holding that a plaintiff homeowners association was not entitled to private attorney general fees under the catalyst theory.  To prevail on that theory, the court must find that the plaintiff's lawsuit was a material factor that contributed in a significant way to the defendant's adopting a changed plan or conduct that… Read More

An employer's arbitration agreement contained a carve-out provision stating that claims under PAGA are not arbitrable under this agreement.  This decision holds that the plain language of the carve-out excludes from arbitration all PAGA claims--including those individual PAGA claims that Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (2022) 142 S.Ct. 1906 are arbitrable (absent the parties' contrary agreement). Hence, the trial… Read More

Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela (2019) 139 S.Ct. 1407 only held that ambiguity could not be construed against drafter for purposes of determining whether the parties had agreed to classwide arbitration.  It did not hold that the construction against drafter principle is inapplicable to other types of ambiguities in the arbitration agreement.  In any event, there was no ambiguity in… Read More

Following Galarsa v. Dolgen California, LLC (2023) 88 Cal.App.5th 639 and Piplack v. In-N-Out Burgers (2023) 2023 Cal. App. LEXIS 166, this decision holds that plaintiff's individual PAGA claims (i.e., those which are based on Lab. Code violations affecting the plaintiff) must be arbitrated.  However, representative PAGA claims based on Lab. Code violations affecting only employees other than the plaintiff… Read More

Reaching the same result as Galarsa v. Dolgen California, LLC (2023) 2023 Cal. App. LEXIS 129, this decision holds that plaintiff's individual PAGA claims (i.e., those which are based on Lab. Code violations affecting the plaintiff) must be arbitrated.  However, representative PAGA claims based on Lab. Code violations affecting only employees other than the plaintiff are not subject to arbitration,… Read More

Part of the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, Lab. Code 248.5(e) provides that  “any person or entity enforcing this article on behalf of the public as provided for under applicable state law shall, upon prevailing, be entitled only to equitable, injunctive, or restitutionary relief ."  This decision holds that "enforcing this article on behalf of the public" refers… Read More

Post-Morgan v. Sundance, prejudice to the plaintiff is no longer a factor to be considered in determining whether a defendant waived arbitration by litigating a dispute in court.  The burden of proving waiver is no longer heavy either.  The plaintiff need only show (1) the defendant's knowledge of an existing right to compel arbitration and (2) intentional acts inconsistent with… Read More

Under special legislation, Alameda County established a separate county-wide health district.  This decision holds that the district is subject to suit under some provisions of the Labor Code and IWC wage orders (meal and rest breaks and accurate wage statements) because nothing in the enabling legislation expressly exempts the district; there are no other positive indicia of legislative intent to… Read More

Disagreeing with Gavriiloglou v. Prime Healthcare Management, Inc. (2022) 83 Cal.App.5th 595, this decision holds that an arbitrator's award finding that the employer did not violate the Labor Code as the employee alleged in his individual wage and hour claims operates as collateral estoppel, barring the employee's PAGA claims based on the same alleged violations, for lack of standing. )… Read More

This decision holds that Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana (2022) 142 S.Ct. 1906 overrules the cases that followed Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348 in holding that pre-dispute arbitration clauses were unenforceable to compel arbitration of the individual PAGA claim(s) of the plaintiff employee.  Viking River held that the individual plaintiff acts in part… Read More

This decision holds that an arbitration agreement in an employment contract was unconscionable and therefore unenforceable because (1) it did not explain and separately provide for waiver of the employee's right to sue in court to enforce his individual PAGA claim (as opposed to the non-waivable right to sue under PAGA for the benefit of other employees), and (2) in… Read More

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