Lab. Code 558 and 1197.1 imposes a civil penalty on a person other than the employer who causes an employee to be paid less than the required overtime pay or regular minimum wage, respectively. This decision holds that an owner and president of a restaurant corporation could be held liable for civil penalties under this statute as he supervised the corporation’s payment practices that violated state law. The statutes do not conflict with the common law alter ego doctrine as the civil penalty is imposed directly on the corporate officer; the officer isn’t held liable for a penalty imposed on the corporation. But in any event, the statutes unambiguously impose liability on corporate officers who cause nonpayment of required wages so if there were a conflict with the common law, the statute would prevail anyway. An employee may sue under PAGA to collect the civil penalties awardable under Lab. Code 558 and 1197.1, collect 25% of the penalties awarded, and his attorney fees and costs.
California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1 (Irion, J.); September 28, 2018; 27 Cal. App. 5th 809