In this PAGA suit, the trial court erred in ordering to arbitration the preliminary/gateway issue of whether the plaintiffs were employees of the defendant rather than independent contractors.  The state is the real party in interest in a PAGA suit and cannot be forced to arbitrate any portion of its claim–including whether the individual plaintiff is an employee with standing to bring the claim–without the state’s consent.  The PAGA claim cannot be split into parts, some subject to arbitration, others not.