California Labor &
Employment Law Blog

Apr. 1 2009

Oral Argument Next Week on Two Important Employment Cases

Topics: Legal Information

Oral argument before the California Supreme Court is scheduled for April 8 in two cases involving a private sector employee’s ability to pursue representative relief under California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL) and Private Attorney’s General Act (PAGA). The cases are Arias v. Superior Court and Amalgamated Transit Union v. Superior Court. The issues before the Supreme Court are framed as follows:

Arias v. Superior Court of San Joaquin County (Angelo Dairy et al., Real Parties in Interest), S155965 #07-412 Arias v. Superior Court of San Joaquin County (Angelo Dairy et al., Real Parties in Interest), S155965. (C054185; 153 Cal.App.4th 777; Superior Court of San Joaquin County; CV028612.) Petition for review after the Court of Appeal granted a petition for peremptory writ of mandate. This case presents the following issues: (1) Must an employee who is suing an employer for labor law violations on behalf of himself and others under the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17203) bring his representative claims as a class action? (2) Must an employee who is pursuing such claims under the Private Attorneys General Act (Lab. Code, § 2699) bring them as a class action?

Amalgamated Transit Union v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (First Transit, Inc., et al., Real Parties in Interest), S151615 #07-247 Amalgamated Transit Union v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (First Transit, Inc., et al., Real Parties in Interest), S151615. (B191879; 148 Cal.App.4th 39; Superior Court of Los Angeles County; KC043962.) Petition for review after the Court of Appeal denied a petition for peremptory writ of mandate. This case presents the following issues: (1) Does a worker’s assignment to the worker’s union of a cause of action for meal and rest period violations carry with it the worker’s right to sue in a representative capacity under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (Lab. Code, § 2698 et seq.) or the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.)? (2) Does Business and Professions Code section 17203, as amended by Proposition 64, which provides that representative claims may be brought only if the injured claimant ―complies with Section 382 of the Code of Civil Procedure, require that private representative claims meet the procedural requirements applicable to class action lawsuits?

Our previous posts on these cases are here and here. We will continue to post developments on these cases.

About CDF

For over 20 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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