The trial court sustained demurrers without leave to amend, holding that plaintiff was required to exhaust the administrative remedy set forth in Labor Code section 98.7 before pursuing his statutory claims in court, and that his causes of action for violations of sections 1102.5 and 6310 must be dismissed for failure to previously file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner.
The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding:
The rule of exhaustion of administrative remedies is well established in California jurisprudence. “In brief, the rule is that where an administrative remedy is provided by statute, relief must be sought from the administrative body and this remedy exhausted before the courts will act.” [Campbell v. Regents of University of California (2005) 35 Cal.4th 311], 321, quoting [Abelleira v. District Court of Appeal (1941) 17 Cal.2d 280], 292. This is so even where the administrative remedy is couched in permissive, as opposed to mandatory, language. (See Williams v. Housing Authority of Los Angeles (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 708, 734.) Here, an administrative remedy is provided in section 98.7. Thus, in accordance with Campbell, we conclude that plaintiff was required to exhaust that remedy prior to pursuing the underlying action.Slip op. at 6.
The opinion is available here.