We hold that an employee who, on behalf of himself and other employees, sues an employer under the unfair competition law (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.) for Labor Code violations must satisfy class action requirements, but that those requirements need not be met when an employee‘s representative action against an employer is seeking civil penalties under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (Lab. Code, § 2698 et seq.).I didn't do as good a job predicting the outcome in Amalgamated. The Court held:
This case presents two issues. First, may a plaintiff labor union that has not suffered actual injury under the unfair competition law, and that is not an "aggrieved employee" under the Labor Code Private Attorney General Act of 2004, nevertheless bring a representative action under those laws (1) as the assignee of employees who have suffered an actual injury and who are aggrieved employees, or (2) as an association whose members have suffered actual injury and are aggrieved employees? The answer is "no." Second, must a representative action under the unfair competition law be brought as a class action? The answer is "yes," for the reasons stated in the companion case of Arias v. Superior Court (June 29, 2009, S155965) ___ Cal.4th ___.I had predicted that the Court would answer both questions in the affirmative, so I missed on that one. Although I have to say that the Court framed the issue a little differently in its decision than it did in granting review, when it framed issue #1 thus:
That was the question I thought the Court would answer in the affirmative. In any case, you can read the full text of Arias here and Amalgamated here.
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, sec. 2698 et seq.) or the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, sec. 17200 et seq.)?