Following Villacres v. ABM Industries, Inc. (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 562, this decision holds that a settlement agreement and judgment dismissing a prior class action wage & hour suit bars plaintiff’s follow-on complaint about nonpayment of reporting time pay during the period covered by the prior litigation. The broad release contained in the settlement agreement in the prior action is properly interpreted to encompass reporting time pay even though no claim for that particular component of wages was raised in the prior suit. The release waived any and all claims for wages, and that was sufficient to nix claims for all types of wages, including waiting time pay. The tail end of the release contained the words “pled in the complaint,” but the court interprets this qualification as applying only to the clause immediately preceding it, not to the general release of claims for wages. Also, the release does not offend Lab. Code 206.5 which forbids releases of claims for wages that are “due.” Wages become “due” for this purpose only with the employer concedes they are due or the Labor Commissioner finds them due. In this case, the employer genuinely disputed whether reporting time wages were due, so Lab. Code 206.5 did not bar enforcement of the release.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4 (Epstein, P.J.); May 29, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 495