The California Secretary of State Alex Padilla recently announced that the California Privacy Rights
Articles Discussing California Workplace Class Actions.
Noting the legal and conceptual differences between, as well as the penalties available in, a claim under the state’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and an employee’s individual suit for damages and statutory penalties, the California Supreme Court recently held that an employee may bring a PAGA claim even if
Among the approximately 1,000 bills signed by California Governor Brown last month was Assembly Bill 1654 (“AB 1654”), which allows a class of employees to waive the remedies created by the Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (PAGA). As the number of PAGA lawsuits continues to increase in California, AB 1654 provides construction industry employers with an opportunity to resolve such disputes through entering into a collective bargaining agreement with a labor union.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not extend to claims under the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285; Ernst & Young LLP et al. v. Morris et al., No. 16-300; National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-307 (May 21, 2018); Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348.
A class action waiver in an arbitration agreement is unenforceable under the National Labor Relations Act, Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel has ruled. Neal Pataky et al. v. The Brigantine, Inc., No. 3:17-cv-00352 (S.D. Cal. May 3, 2017).
Denying class certification in an action for alleged meal period violations under the California Labor Code and Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 5-2001 (“Wage Order 5”), the California Court of Appeal ruled that a 24-hour residential care facility for developmentally disabled individuals did not have a policy that violated wage and hour laws common to the class members. Palacio v. Jan & Gail’s Care Homes, Inc. Specifically, the Court ruled that the residential care facility did not need to inform employees whom it required to waive their right to uninterrupted meal periods and eat their meals with the residents under Section 11(E) of Wage Order 5, that the employees could revoke the waiver at any time under Section 11(A).
Executive Summary: In a case of first impression, the California Court of Appeals recently held that, unlike cases where only class allegations are asserted, California’s “death knell” doctrine does not apply to cases where class certification is denied and representative claims under California’s Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) move forward. See Munoz v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC447232 (June 30, 2015). The court’s decision means the plaintiffs cannot appeal the denial of class certification until after litigation of their representative PAGA claims.
In Iskanian v. CLS Transportation of Los Angeles,1 an important decision on employment agreements that contain pre-dispute class and collective action waivers, the California Supreme Court held that its prior decision in Gentry v. Superior Court2 was abrogated by U.S. Supreme Court precedent, and that a state’s refusal to enforce a class action waiver on grounds of state public policy or unconscionability is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act. The California Supreme Court likewise rejected the argument that a class waiver is unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act. However, the state high court also held that neither Supreme Court precedent nor the FAA preempts state law that prohibits waiver of an employee’s right to bring a “representative” action under California’s Private Attorneys General Act.
A California Court of Appeal in Jong v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Case No. A138725, ___ Cal. App. 4th __, (Cal. App. 1st Dist. 5/20/2014) (Jong) recently upheld the trial court’s grant of the defendant’s pre-certification motion for summary judgment against California law off-the-clock claims made by the named plaintiff in a putative class action. Jong is a very favorable result for employers, and is notable for several reasons.
n a long-awaited decision, the California Supreme Court in Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, S200923 (May 29, 2014), clarified California’s standard for certifying class actions in employee misclassification cases. In doing so, the Court issued badly needed guidance to trial courts deciding whether employee wage class actions may be certified (or remain certified) as class actions. While the Court’s standard is not identical to that set forth in the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decisions, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct 2541 (2011) and Comcast v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013), Duran is a major step in bringing California’s law on class certification in line with the standards prevailing at the federal courts and in other states.
Last week, in Baumann v. Chase Investment Services Corporation, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that representative actions brought pursuant to the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) are not sufficiently similar to Rule 23 class actions for removal to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).
Executive Summary: The U.S. Supreme Court has vacated the decision of a California state court, which held that a trial court should apply the factors set out in the California Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Gentry v. Superior Court to determine whether a pre-employment arbitration agreement containing a class-action waiver is enforceable. The U.S. Supreme Court remanded the case to the state court for further consideration in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant (2013). See CarMax Auto Superstores California v. Fowler, No. 13-439 (February 24, 2014).
A recent case from a California state appeals court reinforces the importance of having counsel review and revise arbitration agreements early and often. In Avery v. Integrated Healthcare Holdiings, the state appellate court affirmed a lower court’s refusal to compel arbitration in an overtime class action involving a hospital management company’s employees, despite several plaintiffs’ acknowledgment that they had signed arbitration agreements.
Class certification is unwarranted where auto center managers and assistant managers alleged they were improperly classified as exempt and denied overtime and meal and rest breaks in violation of the California Labor Code, the California Court of Appeal has ruled. Affirming a trial court determination, the Court concluded that the class representative could not rely on random statistical samples to establish liability and that individual issues predominated over common issue in this case. Dailey v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., No. D061055 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 20, 2013). The Court also held the class representative failed to show the employer had a uniform policy of depriving managers of meal or rest breaks.
Reversing a $15 million judgment against an employer in a class action for alleged unpaid overtime, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, has held that the trial courtâ€™s trial management plan, which used sampling evidence to prove class liability, denied the employer due process by preventing it from defending against over 90% of class claims. Duran v. U.S. Bank Natâ€™l Assâ€™n, Nos. A125557 & A126827 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 6, 2012). The Court found the plan â€œwas fatally flawedâ€ and concluded the lower courtâ€™s adherence to it denied the employer due process because the court based its evidentiary rulings on the plan, rather than trial testimony. The Court reversed the judgment and ordered the class to be decertified.